Gambling in India: A Brief History
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There’s little doubt that some forms of gambling have always been going on in India throughout the early years of the country’s formation. However, once it became a British colony, it was also subject to the gambling laws of the same country. In 1867, the Public Gambling Act was brought into effect, which dictates that all forms of gambling in India are considered illegal. In fact, the exact wording of this law ensures that not only playing in gaming houses but operating such are highly prohibited. Even people to be found within a gaming house and who may not have physically been playing a game are considered to be guilty of such.
That being said, there aren’t any laws within India that specifically regulate the online gambling scene. A lot of debate has taken place over whether the 1867 law also encompasses the online scene. The Act states that the definition of a gaming house is “any type of house, walled enclosure, room or place within which cards, dice, tables or other instruments of gaming are kept or used for the profit or gain of the person owning” such.
It is because of those words that some people argue that online gambling is covered, due to it being a place where instruments of gaming are in operation. Because of that theory, most locations within India deem online gambling as an illegal activity. To add to that, a second law which may be affecting the legal status of gambling in the country is the 2000 Information Technology Act. It is this law which prohibits anyone from publishing information over the internet which could corrupt people in India. An India online casino could definitely be something that is considered possible of corrupting people, so things don’t really work in the favour of gambling within the country.
To put it simply, operating an online casino within most Indian states is an illegal activity. The only state that doesn’t fall in line with all of this is Sikkim. All other Indian states do not issue licences to operators, meaning that there aren’t any legally available sites providing online casino India. So, how does Sikkim differ?
Sikkim State Rules
In total, there are 29 states within India and Sikkim is the only one that has a regulated online casino gambling industry. In 2008, the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act passed, which allowed certain casino games to be played online. These included roulette, blackjack, bingo, baccarat, punto banco and casino brag, to name a few.
For anyone wishing to be an online casino operator in Sikkim, a licence must be granted by the state and an associated licensing fee must also be paid. Licences are usually granted for a period of one year but may be renewed after this time period. It was in 2014 that the first online gambling licence was granted by Sikkim, with that licence going to M/s Future Gaming Solutions Private Ltd. So, while Sikkim is the exception in terms of online gambling licences being available to potential operators, as things stand for the time being, there aren’t any online casinos within the state. Yet, how do gamblers from other Indian states go about accessing online gambling sites? And do any India online casino sites allow for gambling in Indian rupee?