As the popularity of casinos expands, more and more myths arise. Some of them are regarding online gambling. You must have heard how dangerous it is to bet your money online and how one’s entire savings can be wiped out in a matter of seconds. Another one is that they are illegal.
These myths are generally wrong, but there might be some reality right to a certain extent. As far as laws regarding gambling go in India, these have been established since 1867 under the ‘Public Gambling Act’. But upon further inspection, one would notice that online casinos are in the grey area as far as this law is concerned. The Act states that being in-charge of operating and heading a public gambling facility is strictly prohibited and would lead to a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 months.
The fine was agreed upon at Rs 200 for operating and Rs 100 for visiting a gambling facility. As of today, the laws have not been updated since its inception. It makes online casinos in India legal on a federal level. This loophole is a ray of sunshine for many gambling enthusiasts as the center has left the fate of the gambling laws upon the very states themselves. Learn more about it here.
In the past, gambling was an unregulated activity. This meant people were making a fortune and losing a lot of money at the same time. This called for intervention, and in states like Goa and Sikkim, gambling is regulated. It is only in Maharashtra that gambling in any sort or medium is punishable by law even if it’s online. Even though there’s a blanket ban on gambling activities, no one has ever been prosecuted for online gambling.
The law also states that there can be no gambling operators in the country, whether it be in any state or territory. This leads to another loophole that works in favor of gambling enthusiasts as most of the online casino operators are based overseas.
So when it comes to legality, the only state where gambling is illegal in Maharashtra.
In 1996 the Supreme Court of India legalized Horse Race Betting and Rummy. The main argument for their legalization was the fact that the court considered these skill-based games. Horse racing has been a popular sport amongst the elite, and the horse breeding industry is very lucrative. Combine it with the fact that it takes skills to judge the winning horse as a good enough reason for allowing it. But what the Supreme Court forgot was that any type of gambling needs skill and intuition. Beginner’s luck is only valid for a short period, and many experienced players will tell you that luck is not a very significant part of the game.
It seems as though the gambling industry in India had been dealt bad hands since its inception but with the law not being up to date, there is a silver lining now for the online generation of players.