Online Gambling is widespread in India. Many gambling games like Poker and Blackjack are prevalent in various parts of the country. The legal stature of gambling in India depends upon the nature of the games: skill or chance.
According to the Public Gambling Act(1867), only games involving pure skill are legal. Games involving a certain degree of skill and success of the competition depend upon the skillful play permitted in the country.
Hence, online rummy, which requires skill, has a legal nod from the government—a fun fact: Sikkim authorized online gambling for the first time in India.
The Public Gambling Act (1867) is quite an old-fashioned act with no information about the gambling games’ online nature. However, the IT Act (2000) is legally responsible for regulating all online activities, including online gambling.
IT Act (2000)
Even though there are numerous guidelines and exceptions covered under this act, there’s no topic which states that online gambling is illegal. The only regulation which works under this act is that it can block the activity of specific foreign betting sites.
It can flag the foreign sites as illegal since they don’t fall under the Indian jurisdiction. Usually, network operators block such sites on account of online threats and circulate the message that the respective platform isn’t available in India.
Many online casinos are running in India that offer various services, including gambling games. They’re open to Indian players and are easily accessible through multiple online portals.
The Reserve Bank Of India ( RBI) has strict regulations that disallow banks and payment channels for gambling games. Instead, digital wallets are preferable as a payment mode.
There are many payment wallets in usage like PayPal, which help in making the payments. Even credit card payments are permissible, such as Visa and American Express.
The primary reason for legalizing gambling games is the chance of taxing the winnings earned by the players. For instance, if you play a poker game on an Indian site, you have to pay a specific section of your winnings as TDS.
Hence, taxation occurs at the source itself, and the deductions occur in the beginning. The Indian government has many a time frowned upon the framework of online gambling because of the negative undertone.
However, online gambling is legal in many parts of the world, and it’s high time that Indians too embrace the concept with appropriate regulations in place.
Law Commission of India
The regulatory body responsible for compliance is the LCI which recommends the legalization of online casinos and gambling games. It will prove a steady stream of revenue and keep the crimes in their name under check.
After a strict set of guidelines and allocation of categories to online gambling, it must attain legal status. After all, the players are in every nook and corner. Making it official will only help reduce the problem. It’s high time to get rid of the stigma and grant online gambling games their legal status.