Layman’s Online Betting Guide: Is It Legal And Allowed In India?

By Kapil Sharma

Indians are maturing and gaining a more globalized understanding of cultures outside of their own. And with that the charm of online gambling is seen acquiring a lot of popularity here.

Indians have always loved to gamble, discreetly till now, but the law has not been on their side. However, that has finally started to change. Anyone who likes to gamble and keep with the news would be aware that a big change may soon be coming to the world of betting in India and just how necessary this change is.

The Present State of Gambling in India

Calling the current betting laws in India outdated might be an understatement. Written decades before the internet was even a thing, enough time has gone by and they should have been revised by now—even if not completely rewritten.

Instead they still continue to directly affect the lives of everyone evolved with the gambling industry.

These laws have resulted in most of the major gambling activities being run undercover and hidden from the government, costing the country possibly billions in what could have been tax money.

But that’s not all, not only are these gambling laws archaic, they are also extremely vague in their language causing a lot of unnecessary confusion as to exactly what is and what is not legal.

This can have serious consequences for people who might think they are doing everything legally only to end up with serious consequences because of the local court’s interpretation of the law.

The Problem of Online Gambling

This is perhaps compounded when it comes to online betting as the internet was unheard of when the laws were being drafted so many years ago.

It is very important to know exactly what people are getting into when it comes to online gambling and this article strives to help with that.

Online Gambling: Legal?

Here comes the good news, according to the most widely upheld interpretation of the Indian betting laws, online betting in India technically is legal. Unfortunately, however, in practice they might as well be illegal. Here’s why.

Online websites and online gambling companies that aren’t registered in India aren’t considered part of Indian soil. As such any transaction which takes place on them will be considered as a transaction taking place in that country so Indian betting laws won’t apply to such transactions.

Sounds simple? Well here is where things start to become needlessly complicated—courtesy the ancient Indian betting laws.

The Issue of The Indian National Rupee

INR, as we’re sure everyone reading this would know is the national currency for India and all tractions done inside the country are done through it. The Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India have complete control over this currency and can pass any laws around it.

All INR MUST come from the Reserve Bank of India and any INR which comes from any other source can be considered a threat to the very economy of the country.

Using INR to gamble online, even on websites registered in other countries can prove to be very problematic. Betting online using INR and withdrawing your winnings by transferring it your Indian bank account results in a very unfavourable situation for the entire country. The Reserve Bank of India will not be considered as a source of this INR won on such websites.

Thus, the government has had to pass very strict regulations to effectively ban
any gambling activities happening from such sites. Which has brought the online gambling industry of India back to square one!

Even sending money to these sites from Indian bank accounts has been banned so while online gambling might officially be legal in India but since using INR is problematic,
it might as well have been illegal.

However, as long as one uses other currencies for their online gambling, they shouldn’t
end up in any trouble with the Indian laws.

The Winds of Change

But as mentioned earlier, things are starting to change and recently a report by the Law Commission of India recommended to the government that they should make gambling—particularly sports gambling legal in India.

This is a clear indication that the Indian legal system is finally willing to move with the times. Exciting times ahead for online gamblers who can bet online with LeoVegas kind of sites in India soon.

By the way, did you see Amazon’s popular TV series around cricket and IPL: Inside Edge?

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