Gambling laws and regulations in India

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It doesn’t matter if you want to place a bet on your favorite cricket team or try out the new lucky 7 casino game tricks, you need to go online. But betting and playing casino games is not that simple in India.

Indian gambling laws and regulations are one of the most complicated in the world. In this article, we will try to explain how different factors impact the legality of online gambling in India.

Main factors to consider

When talking about the legality of gambling in India, there are a few factors we need to consider. In most cases, the combination of these factors will determine what if any kind of gambling is legal.

These factors are:

  • Laws
  • Game types
  • Location

Indian gambling laws

Of course, the main deciding factor about the legality of gambling in every country is the law. But in the case of India, while there are some laws and regulations on the national level, they are mostly considered guidelines. This means that individual states have the power to make state-level laws and regulate gambling.

So, if you want to see if gambling is legal in India, you first need to check what are the regulations in the state in which you are residing. This will be your first guideline, but not the only one, as you will see in the rest of the article.

Game type

When it comes to games, there are two main game types that Indian laws and regulations recognize:

  • Skill Games
  • Luck Games

Skill Games

As defined per Indian law, all games that take prior knowledge, strategy, and skill are considered skill games. Gambling is legal in certain Indian territories but just if the games in question are skill games.

Luck Games

Luck games are games in which the participants have no impact on the outcome and which require zero skill or prior knowledge in order to be successful. These kinds of games are illegal in most of the country.


As we mentioned earlier, Indian gambling laws are unclear and leave a lot to be discussed. One of the things that end up being in the grey area is the location. Because the current national-level law in India was created before the invention of the internet it does not mention online gambling.

This means that online gambling is not illegal in most of India, while gambling in traditional gaming houses is prohibited. This is why most Indian players are moving online in search of fun, adrenalin, and extra income.

Illegal vs Legal

Based on the above-mentioned elements and rules there are some key takeaways about the state of certain gambling activities and how they are treated. There are some interesting things that might seem conflicting yet that is simply how it is. For example, betting on horse races is legal in the country based on the opinion that bettors have to possess the prior skill to place these bets.

But at the same time, the lottery is also legal which doesn’t seem logical. This way of gambling is permitted in several Indian states including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Goa, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Punjab, Nagaland, West Bengal, and Sikkim.

At the same time, based on the Public Gambling Act of 1976 Goa, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Daman have banned brick-and-mortar casinos and online gambling.

Gambling is illegal in Maharashtra also, this state bases its regulation on the Prevention of Gambling Act of 1887.

E-gaming or how they are considered in the states of Nagaland and Sikkim, luck games, are allowed in these territories.

Skill games are legal in Arunachal Pradesh and Telangana regions based on the State Gaming Act of 1974.

Ilegal gambling in India

With so many rules and regulations that prevent many types of betting and gambling, the creation of black-market gambling was inevitable. At the time of this article, some reports claim that the back alley gambling in India is a billion-dollar industry. Some statistics even show that it is almost three times bigger than the legal one. And when we take into consideration that these are only assumptions, we can safely say that the numbers are probably much higher.

Online gambling in India

There is no doubt that online gambling is one of the fastest-growing industries in India. Many young Indians are enjoying the perks of placing bets via the internet. And with the development of the necessary infrastructure, the predictions are that these numbers will double in the next few years. That is of course if the Indian gambling laws stay the same.


If you looking to gamble in India, and you don’t know where to start our advice would be to take the easy way. Check if online gambling is prohibited in your state. Do your research more thoroughly.

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