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Is Bet365 Legal In India? Read the Complete Story

Is bet 365 Legal In India

Bet365 is an online betting platform that is making rounds of news in India from the last few months. Bet365 allows users to bet on the outcome of a wide range of sports events. A large number of Indians bet online on sports events using Bet365 app. However, a large number of people are wondering, is Bet365 legal in India?

The number of users opting for online betting via platforms such as Bet365, Betfair, and Dream11 is on the rise.

Hence, this exclusive article aims to solving all your queries about online betting platforms and their legal status in India.

Why Bet365 is in News?

Bet365 is in News

Cricket is the most popular sports in India. Betting on Cricket was something taking place in India for a long time. Even after making their best efforts, the authorities are not able to restrain it completely.

However, online cricket betting is something new for the country. The recently concluded season of Indian Premier League (IPL)[1], a sports league tournament of Cricket became a prominent event to bet online.

Interestingly, for IPL betting, online platforms grew multifold as the league progressed. The credit of mushrooming of platforms is a result of success of preexisting online betting platforms.

As the Cricket World Cup 2019 approaches, these platforms are expecting even a higher turnout of users in comparison to the concluded season of IPL 2019.

Going Legal- Is Bet365 Legal in India?

The burning question stands, is Bet365 legal in India? If not, how they can operate in India freely?

Let us examine the legal status of these platforms and the betting industry in India.

Betting in India is illegal by Law in but not in an absolute sense. Gambling being a state subject is the reason for such an ambiguous status of gambling in India. The states are independent of framing their own laws for gambling. 

Let us dig deep into these betting laws in India.

Online Betting Laws in India

Although there are specific online betting laws in India, yet there are laws that can be applied for this activity.

Betting Laws in India

Betting and Gambling Laws

The Indian Contact Act 1872 and the Public Gambling Act of 1867[2] clearly prohibits wagering contracts and gambling in public place.

However, the Law dating back to the 19th century does not have any coverage over online betting activities under their defined set of prohibited activities.

As Bet365 and Dream11 are online betting platform, let us analyze the information technology laws of India.

Information Technology Laws

The Information Technology Act 2000 is the regulatory Law for cyber activities that take place on Indian soil.

However, the act does not mention the word betting or gambling anywhere in its body. Therefore, online betting platforms like Bet365 and Dream11 are out of the coverage of this act.

State Laws for Online Betting

The states are in authority to establish and regulate their own laws for online betting. Till present only two Indian States had enacted a law for the same.

Talking about the State Laws, state such as Maharashtra in its own capacity has banned online betting activities under The Bombay Wager Act.

On the other hand, Sikkim has allowed online gaming within the state. The scope of this permission is strictly restricted to the geographical boundaries of state.

Interestingly the Indian Law distinct games into two categories, i.e. Game of skills and Games of luck or chance

Skills vs. Luck View

Indian Laws classify sports events under two groups. One is prohibited, and the other is allowed to operate.

Skills vs. Luck View
  • Game of Skills

The Law states that events whose result can be obtained by the use of skill performed by the party involved as stakeholders are not considered as a gamble.

  • Game of Luck/Chance

Only those acts whose outcome can solely be determined by the effect of luck or probability for the party involved or stakeholders is considered as gambling. Such an act of gambling is deemed illegal by Law.

However, the status of games as a game of skill or luck is still debatable because sports sharing similar characteristics are in different categories.

For example, horse riding and rummy are considered as a game of skill, whereas Cricket and poker are regarded as Game of luck and illegal to bet on.

This maintains the grey status of Law for gambling activities and keeps confusion alive.

Recent Legal Developments

The last update from legal authorities on betting in India is about the recommendation of The Law Commission of India.

The commission has suggested legalization of betting and gambling activities in India. However, it is also being recommended that such activities should be conducted in a regulated environment.

As per the views of commission, a total boycott of such activities is not generating the desired outcomes.

Is Bet365 legal in India or not , but it should be according to the law commission.

Legal Loophole- Why Bet365 is Legal In India?

Online gambling in India is possible because of the following reasons;

Indian Law vs. Local Laws

Why Bet365 is Legal In India?

The reason for Bet365 is not banned in India is that it does not operate from Indian soil. The servers of Bet365, Dream11 are located in countries where betting on sports events is legal.

Indian laws have jurisdiction only over the activities that take place within the geographical boundary of the country.

For example, An Indian flies abroad to England and bets on a sporting event is not doing anything illegal. The reason is that the Law of England allows betting on sports events under legal activities.

On the other hand, if a person is caught doing the same in a country where betting on a sports event is illegal, he will be considered as a culprit under anti-gambling laws.

Similarly, there are states of India where operating casinos is illegal.Whereas running the same in Las Vegas is legal according to the local laws. Hence, the Law of the land where they operate takes supremacy over Indian Laws.

Eluding the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA)

One must be wondering Indians are paying from India and using Indian money, then why the government cannot ban these payments?

Why Indian Government Cannot Ban These Payments From Indian Banks ?

The ambiguity of Indian Laws and smart tactics of the online betting platform operators are making online betting a smooth experience for Indians.

The betting platforms once accepted debit and credit cards issued by Indian Banks. However, after a move by the government, they were prohibited from doing so. As a result, these websites were not accepting banking cards from India anymore.

To tackle the situation, the use of virtual money came into the process. It is prohibited to bet using Indian bank cards, but it is not illegal to convert that money into virtual money and bet using the same.

The virtual money is the currency in use to do betting on online betting site and apps like bet 365, Betfair, etc. Many virtual money wallets can provide this service.

virtual money

Can We Ban Wallets for Accepting Gambling Money From India ?

Few wallets prohibit the use of virtual money of Indians for gambling activities. To tackle this problem, a multi-layered transaction process solution was implemented. The virtual money was again converted into another virtual currency to make bets.

Use of cryptocurrency was also in place for online betting. However, ever since the government declared that cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender in India, the usage of the same reduced significantly.

The Rise of Online Betting Platforms After Bet365

Rise of Online Betting Platforms After Bet365

Successful user retention on Bet365 were like a eureka moment for many entities across the globe. In a concise period, a large number of Indian betting sites and Indian betting app came into the market along with foreign counterparts.

These entities quickly realized the opportunity that lies in the nation with a population of 1.35 billion (Approx.). The online betting market in India is estimated to be of 60 billion US dollars.

Notable investors invested their money on such platforms seeing the potential this market possesses. Additionally, these platform paid celebrities a significant amount of money to represent their platform. This was aimed to lure more and more users on their platforms.

Online gambling in India is not only reigns to Cricket or a few sports events but also It now allows Indian to bet on anything and everything.

The Future of Bet365 and Dream11 in India

The future of this industry lies in the hands of lawmakers of India. A strong law against online gaming platforms can cease the operations of the online betting sector in India. 

It will be interesting to see the outcome if the lawmakers intervene in current prospects.

As for now, many startups are launching to utilize the loophole available at present. The startups are not only mushrooming in the online betting platforms but also in the virtual wallet sector to facilitate the former.

Take away from the discussion ‘is Bet365 Legal in India’?

We can sincerely conclude that the Indian Laws regarding online betting and gambling, in general, are ambiguous and discretionary in nature.

As for now, online betting is neither legal nor illegal in India. Indians can do online betting until there is a law explicitly countering the same.

We hope that now you have answer to your query of ‘is Bet365 legal in India’ . Do not forget to comment to raise any question on this topic.

Read our article:All You Need to Know About Intellectual Property Rights

Akash Dubey

Akash Dubey is a Law Graduate and works as an Advisor at Enterslice. He is proficient in Legal and Financial Advisory. His expertise in the skills of Legal and Financial Research is an aid to his strengths as an Advisor.

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