Legality of Online Gambling in India

If a person who is in Mumbai does work of taking bets on sports markets like cricket or football online by setting up his website is it legal? he is not having any gambling license.All the money transactions are also done online.

Answer (1)

Team Legistify

  • Sector-1, Noida

"The primary legislative document that makes gambling in India a ‘grey’ legality is the Public gambling act. This is an old law created during British rule. While Pakistan has since abolished this rule, our own government has affirmed their commitment to keeping it on the books on many occasions. This 145 year old law makes operating a gambling house, assisting in the operation of a gambling house, visiting a gambling house (whether gambling or not), financing gambling and being in possession of gambling devices a crime. The penalty is a fine not exceeding 200 rupees or up to three months in prison. No person betting in India has ever been charged or sought after The Public Gambling Act explicitly states “nothing in this Act shall apply to games of mere skill wherever played” which means, in absence of other laws against them, wagering on games of skill is legal. While the Act the Act itself doesn’t define gambling, in 1996 the Supreme Court of India defined games of mere skill as follows: The competitions where success depends on substantial degree of skill are not “gambling” and despite there being an element of chance if a game is preponderantly a game of skill it would nevertheless be a game of “mere skill” An early ruling came in 1957 where Horse Race Betting was determined a skill: “The expression “gaming” in the two Acts has to be interpreted in the light of the law laid-down by this Court in the two1957 cases, wherein it has been authoritatively held that a competition which substantially depends on skill is not gambling. Gaming is the act or practice of gambling on a game of chance. It is staking on chance where chance is the controlling factor. “Gaming” in the two Acts would, therefore, mean wagering or betting on games of chance. It would not include games of skill like horse racing”. In 1968 Rummy (also known as Paplu) was determined to be a skill game: “Rummy, on the other hand, requires certain amount of skill because the fall of the cards has to be memorised and the building up of Rummy requires considerable skill in holding and discarding cards. We cannot, therefore, say that the game of Rummy is a game of entire chance. It is mainly and preponderantly a game of skill. The chance in Rummy is of the same character as the chance in a deal at a game of bridge.” Grey Area: Poker is a major grey area in Indian law. It’s quite interesting that games such as Teen Patti (flush) and Texas Hold ’em are banned while Rummy is allowed. Perhaps even more interesting – horse racing (one of the easiest games to fix) is legal to wager on based it being a skill game, yet cricket betting which requires the same sort of skill set is banned? We suggest that you file a case and challenge the website. It is the discretion of court to ban the website or portal .

Answered on 28 Sep 2018

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