The Business Case for Regulating Online Casinos in India

If you cast your eyes on all the online casinos available in India, you’ll notice that all licensed operators are internationally renowned and based overseas.

This is more of an accident than design, however, as India’s outdated gambling legislation (namely The Public Gambling Act of 1867) obviously makes no provision at all for online verticals or remote betting. While the subsequently formed Information Technology Act 2000 regulates cyber activities in India, this doesn’t reference either gambling or betting and has left such topics open for wider interpretation.

As a result of these factors, there’s nothing to expressly prohibit natives from accessing overseas casinos, so long as the operators in question offer Indian rupees as a primary method of payment.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the wider gambling laws in India while asking whether there’s a viable case to be made for legalising and regulating online casinos nationwide.

What Does the Law Say in India?
In general terms, gambling in India is a state subject, as every local authority within the region has the autonomy to formulate unique laws for wagering activities on behalf of their subjects.

Despite this, just three of the 29 states and seven union territories have sought to legalise one or more types of offline gambling in India, namely Sikkim, Goa, and Daman.

Unsurprisingly, it’s these states that have sought to push for the legislation and comprehensive regulation of online gaming in India, with Sikkim having planned to offer three online gambling licenses back in 2010. These attempts failed, however, despite local demand for such licenses and the desire of players to bet on popular casino games.

With states unwilling to officially legalise online gambling, there’s currently no opportunity for local or domestic operators to enter the marketplace.

As we’ve already mentioned, there’s no specific law that prohibits players from wagering through international operators. So, despite more recent attempts to crack down on this practice in some quarters, Indian residents are still largely free to play casino games and wager on their favourite sports daily.