Gambling is something that is termed evil right from the ancient age in India, and many of us know the reason behind that. Goa is perhaps the only place in India after the Sikkim where gambling is allowed at the moment. But the question still remains as to why gambling is now allowed in the rest of the parts of India. In this article, we will try to answer this question.
Betting is something for which most of us don’t need an introduction, be it people doing it secretly (Satta Matka and Cricket Betting) or openly in casinos, it has become something very common. Many school kids are also familiar with it after seeing their seniors or parents doing the same.
During IPL or any cricket match for that matter, betting comes into action especially if it’s a match between India and Pakistan. Clubs, restaurants, parks, homes, every place is full watching the matches together with so much intensity and along with that, a lot of betting.
But is betting considered legal in India?
The government hasn’t been very clear on its rules on gambling and betting in India and that still remains in a grey area. A few sports revel in complete approval from the authorities while others (though sharing the exact same characteristics) are completely shunned.
The law against gambling in India dates way back to 1867. This was the time when India had not gained freedom and was under colonial rule. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 made it illegal back then to offer or use gambling services on public premises.
Poker is known to be a major grey area in our 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 on it is a skill game, yet cricket betting which requires the same sort of skill set is banned?!!
Though betting is not clearly legal, it’s growing bigger and more powerful every time even though most countries in the world don’t wish to make it legal any time in the near future.
The new government has laid down some online betting regulations. This is considered to be a big move that is ushering in online gambling through smartphones. Though online casinos are forbidden within Indian borders, and some states have banned them outright still gambling on sites outside India is not considered illegal in some states of India.
For example, the North-Eastern state of Sikkim has been willing to go a step ahead and push betting forward. Some places such as Daman and Goa have opened many casinos in their areas like Maharaja, Big Daddy, Casino Pride, and Deltin Royale. Therefore, the national laws and state laws clearly differ significantly.
Indian laws are stringent on gambling, and it is discouraged further by charging high taxes (30%) on any winnings through gambling and betting. With the high taxes, online casinos from India barely set a foothold permanently in the Indian market.
Even though betting is not done that openly in India but with so many online websites and platforms that are operated by foreigners, it has become very easy for Indians to do betting. Many people, who once start betting, get addicted to it. And as we all know, it’s very difficult to break yourself from addictions.
Since The Public Gambling Act law came into effect long back during the 19th century, way before there was anything known as the internet, therefore there isn’t any clause or sub-clause in it pertaining to online betting. Because of this, legally, a user who placed a bet online cannot be prosecuted under this law.