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Betting on Internet for Money is legal in India

Narendra Kumar

| Updated: Dec 03, 2017 | Category: Legal, Legal Law

Betting on Internet

Considering this situation, the Central Government can amend this Public Gambling Act and draft model rules under it which the state government could adopt. Read this article regarding Betting on Internet for Money is legal.

What law says for betting for Money in India?

  • The Constitution of India (Seventh Schedule, State List and Entry 34) gives states the right to create their own laws and policies regarding betting and gambling. Therefore, a state is having the primary responsibility to regulate the cases relating betting and gambling.
  • Most states have made laws prohibiting gambling but two states Goa and Sikkim; have legalized many forms of Betting on Internet and gambling.
Note: But in case of online betting the ambit of this Entry 34 is questionable as legislation pertaining to Information Technology vests with the CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.

Pre-independence there was no such distinction and the Public Gambling Act, 1867 governed betting and gambling in the country. Post-independence some of the states have adopted this act and therefore this act is still valid for these states. Considering this situation, the Central Government can amend this Public Gambling Act and draft model rules under it which the state government could adopt.

Should betting and gambling be regulated in India?

As per the number of attempts made to enforce prohibitions against betting and a number of arrests of those concerned with the same, there is still a great amount of money being bet in India. As per some of the report, the total turnover of the Betting on Internet market is Rs. 300,000 crores ($60bn).

Due to the perceived illegality of betting a large sum of money flows untaxed to unlicensed offshore Internet sites or to illegal bookmakers many of whom are allied with organized crime.

Online Betting:

Online Betting is not LEGAL neither it is ILLEGAL. As there is no law in India which can term online Betting on Internet as illegal.

Comparison of two scenarios of recent time:

Bitcoin Scenario:

With the peak rise in the growth rate of bitcoin lots of Indian started buying it also there were Indian based bitcoin exchange websites emerging up. Reserve Bank of India sent the circular to the Ministry about their opinion regarding this, after receiving the circular the Ministry ordered the Exchange websites to do a verification of the Bitcoin users, by collecting Aadhar and PAN Card[1] of all users.

The government neither termed bitcoins illegal nor legal. So, people are still buying Bitcoins. Till there is no official declaration regarding declaring bitcoin as illegal people are free to buy bitcoins.

Pornography Scenario:

Watching Pornographic content in India is illegal, still, people violate this law. When the new Government came into power they started blocking Porn/Torrent sites with the help of Internet Service Providers. Because there were too many sites to block and 100s of new sites were cropping up every day, the process was stopped.

  • Gambling and betting sites like Bet365 are not blocked still people are using them so it is clear that Online Betting is not illegal in India.

In most part of India is illegal. Presently there is no existing law which makes online betting an illegal activity, offshore betting companies are apparently taking advantage of this to attract Indians to bet on pretty much everything.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) tops their lists now and some websites have even contact with offshore betting agencies, thereby allowing Indians to place online bets.

Whether it is legal to bet from India using an international bookmaker is not clear in law but as per the report of one of the leading website it has been said that:

“While bookmakers in India are illegal, there is no specific law in India which bans an individual customer from placing an online bet with a bookmaker based outside India.”

When is Betting Online unsafe?

For betting one can create his own betting ID which will be for his personal use. Renting or pooling money from others and helping others to take bets in your accounts will make you a bookie. If you create fake ID’s or falsify information just to get your betting ID’s verified, that’s also included in a criminal offense.

How much can you deposit/withdraw?

If you are willing to pay TAX on your winning amount you can bet any amount the bookmaker sites allow (it’s nearly about Rs. 3.5 Lakhs).

You cannot use your debit/credit cards with bookmaker websites directly. E-Wallet sites can be used to process your deposits and withdrawal.

Lodha Committee Proposal:

After the IPL 2015 fixing racket, Justice Lodha Committee has given its recommendation regarding legalizing betting in India. Circulars have been sent to all State Cricket Board regarding seeking their opinion in respect of making betting legal.

It seems like the Betting on Internet will become legal in India around 2022.

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Narendra Kumar

Experienced Finance and Legal Professional with 12+ Years of Experience in Legal, Finance, Fintech, Blockchain, and Revenue Management.

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