Is Online Betting Legal in India?

In a recent news headline, the Karnataka government was reported to be planning to pass new laws to curb online gambling, according to the home minister Basavaraj Bommai. In a media release, the minister is reported to have said that home department officials were studying various existing laws before legislating their own.

“Online gambling is on the rise everywhere and people are increasingly falling prey to it. We need a stringent law to curb it. Some States have already taken steps to address the problem. Our officers in the Home Department are studying the laws in force there and the measures taken. They will visit a couple of more States shortly. Incorporating the best things in practice, we will prepare a draft bill and present it in the legislature.”

Online Betting in India

The Central Government Allows States to Enact Laws Relating to Online Betting

This news has brought into focus the question of whether online gambling is legal in India. The central government has left it to the states whether to consider online betting legal or to outlaw it within a particular state. Seen in this light, the Karnataka government’s decision will not apply outside the state of Karnataka. In fact, most states deem online gambling to be legal. Indian betting laws do not mention online betting; therefore, we can infer that federal law in India does not formally prohibit online gambling.

Indian Laws Relating to Use of Betting Sites Are Unclear

Recently a legal expert stated that the legal situation in India relating to the use of betting sites is not very clear. In the federal law, which is the public gaming act of 1867, there is no mention of online betting. As per the original law an offer of gambling services would be illegal in the whole of the country including visiting and using public gambling facility.  As the law was made much before the internet came along many people began to ask the question whether it meant that online betting was legal simply because it was not expressly forbidden as per the law of 1867. The shortest answer to the above question is an affirmative “yes”. Had the government of India wanted to ban online betting it would have amended the law of 1867. In fact, the government never amended the law.

Nobody is Known to Have Been Prosecuted for Online Betting

The legal expert was also asked whether any Indian had been prosecuted or charged with the offence of using a betting site. His reply, which should put Indian players at ease, was that he was not aware of any such case.

To summarize, the federal law relating to gambling in India considers gambling at a public gaming house illegal. As online gambling does not fall within this decision, we can safely infer that online gambling is legal in India. Further, as per the constitution of India, states are free to enact their own laws to forbid online gambling within their respective states. Therefore, except in states that have enacted laws to specifically forbid it, online betting can be considered legal in all other states. As things stand, online gambling is legal in most of the 29 states of India. This should cheer up Indian players who can celebrate it by taking advantage of Dafabet bonus code, Netbet bonus code, Pinnacle Bonus code, and Leovegas bonus code to enhance their online betting adventure.