💰 Gambling | Laws and Regulations | India | ICLG

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The main gambling law in this state is the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, which is also called the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act.


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The internet's most comprehensive article on Gambling laws in India. ; Assam Gaming and Betting Act, ; Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, ​.


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In the case of R. There are only a small number of States in India that allow operators to conduct gambling activities under a licensing regime. As games which are predominantly chance-based, casino games are treated as betting and gambling activities, and are therefore prohibited under most Gaming Enactments. Depending upon the type of product, and the medium through which the Relevant Product is sought to be offered, licences may be required for certain products. Please refer to the corresponding column apart from the discussion on the State of Nagaland, which only applies to online games. Only the State of Nagaland has enacted a licence regime for virtual team selection games and virtual sport fantasy league games when offered online. Such games may be offered through the intranet within the State of Sikkim only. In the case of Dr. The PCA was enacted to regulate certain types of competitions. Betting on physical horse races on race courses is regulated by the Turf Clubs, i. These committees are required to make their recommendations within two weeks. However, one can argue whether a horse racing product is a game of skill independent of the Horse Racing Exemption. The Nagaland Act expressly recognises virtual team selection games and virtual sport fantasy league games as games of skill. Skill versions of poker do not have a regulator in most Indian States. The Empanelled Firms will then revert with either their certification or recommendations to the applicant within 30 days. The Sikkim Act covers certain casino games such as roulette, casino brag, and blackjack. In the case of betting on real horse races, the conditions prescribed under the Horse Racing Exemption would need to be met. This applies for both digital and land-based casino gaming. Accordingly, such games should be permitted to be offered in most Indian States with an exemption for games of skill. These games operate under the exclusion for games of skill. If such games are sought to be offered online in the State of Nagaland, a licence would be required. Additional points to note are as follows:. If it is: i betting on casino games, please refer above; ii sports betting or fantasy sports, please refer to the relevant column below. An operator must obtain a licence to offer such games under the Sikkim Act. Some States regulate physical lotteries such as Sikkim , and lotteries have been banned in certain States such as Madhya Pradesh. The Supreme Court has also dismissed a special leave petition against the order in the Varun Gumber Case. There is no regulator for betting on horse races online. However, the Horse Racing Exemption is subject to certain conditions under the Gaming Enactments, such as when wagering or betting takes place on the day on which the horse has run, in an enclosure which has been sanctioned by the State Government, etc. The licensees must be entities incorporated in India, have a substantial holding stake in India, and have no criminal history; and the license is only issued to those entities which have no interest in online or offline gambling activities in India or abroad. However, due to the types of games covered under the PCA i. In case of the latter, it would be prohibited in most Indian States. The Nagaland Authority will then issue the licence to the application within 14 days of receipt of certification of the Empanelled Firms. Only the State of Sikkim permits sports betting. It can be argued that certain variations of Poker are games of skill for the purpose of most Gaming Enactments. Accordingly, betting on physical horse races must take place within the confines of Turf Clubs. As stated above, the question of whether sports betting is a game of skill is pending before the Supreme Court in the Geeta Rani Case. Betting on horse racing has been held to be a game of skill. However, an appeal has been filed against this order and is pending before the High Court. Please refer to the corresponding column except for the discussion on Nagaland, which would only apply to online games. In most other States, law enforcement authorities seek to prosecute players engaged in sports betting. The Supreme Court has specifically recognised certain games as games of skill, as discussed in question 1. Only the State of Sikkim offers a licence to offer sports betting through the intranet within the State of Sikkim only. Depending on the exact format of bingo, it can fall within the definition of a lottery, or under the general definition of gambling under most Gaming Enactments, as it is a game of chance. Certain skill formats of fantasy sports should be exempt from the prohibitions under most Gaming Enactments. It can be argued that certain versions of fantasy sports games are preponderantly skill-based games in the Indian context. Certain other laws that would apply to gaming activities have been discussed in question 2. Only the State of Sikkim permits sports betting under a licence through the intranet within the State of Sikkim only, under the Sikkim Act. In addition to our response to question 2. Thereafter, the High Court of Bombay also recognised that the same format of fantasy sport was a game of skill in Gurdeep Singh Sachar v. For brevity, we have only highlighted key points below:. For a discussion on lotteries, please refer below. In the case of betting on physical horse races, the conditions under the Horse Racing Exemption would need to be fulfilled. Only the Nagaland Act has enacted a licence regime to regulate the online versions of such games. Accordingly, poker is currently prohibited in Gujarat. As per the Sikkim Act and Rules, the licensee must be a company incorporated in India, and must operate only in Sikkim. Only the State of Nagaland has enacted a licence regime for online games of skill under the Nagaland Act. These games may be offered through the intranet within the State of Sikkim only. These restrictions, however, should not apply to skill games.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} The Lottery Laws permit State Governments to organise, conduct or promote a lottery, subject to certain conditions, as stated above. In so far as betting on horse races online is concerned, there are also no licences required. This licence covers certain casino games like roulette, casino brag, and blackjack. As stated above, games of skill are exempted from the prohibitions under most Gaming Enactments. The licensing authority in Nagaland is the Finance Commissioner. There is no licensing regime for games of skill at a federal level. If it is sports or fantasy betting, please refer below. Depending upon the format and content of these games, certain other laws may be triggered, such as intellectual property laws, content laws, e. The above conditions would be difficult to meet in the case of online betting on horse racing products. Turf Clubs regulate betting on physical horse races within their premises. Please include in this answer any material promotion and advertising restrictions. Some States specifically provide for online lotteries such as Punjab. Union of India. It is not a settled position of law as to whether these prohibitions extend to the online medium. As discussed above, games of skill are exempted from the prohibitions under most Gaming Enactments. If the betting is on games of chance, this is prohibited in most Indian States. The Supreme Court of India has recognised certain games as games of skill, such as betting on horse racing and the game of Rummy. Accordingly, such games can be treated as exempted under the Gaming Enactments. Based on the Lakshmanan Case, it can be argued that such games are games of skill and exempt under most Gaming Enactments. No licence as such is required to operate such games in most Indian States. Accordingly, even games of skill cannot be offered in Telangana. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}ICLG - Gambling Laws and Regulations - India covers common issues in gambling laws and regulations — including relevant authorities and legislation, application for a licence, licence restrictions, digital media, enforcement and liability — in 39 jurisdictions. We have mentioned these below:. One of the conditions which the Racing Exemption is subject to is that such betting takes place within an enclosure which Turf Clubs have set apart for betting. Whether a game is of chance or skill is a question of fact to be decided on the facts and circumstances of each case. As stated in the corresponding column, poker can be argued to be a game of skill and therefore exempt from most Gaming Enactments. Innovative structures can be put in place for a foreign operator to offer such games. This exemption would apply to even poker when played on physical premises. Arguably, such games can be offered in both land-based and digital form in all the States in which there is such an exemption. Sikkim has also enacted the Sikkim Act and Rules under which licences are granted to offer intranet games of: a roulette; b blackjack; c pontoon; d punto banco; e bingo; f casino brag; g poker; h poker dice; i baccarat; j chemin-de-fer; k backgammon; l keno; m super pan 9; and n other sports games which involve the prediction of results of sporting events and placing a bet on the outcome, in part or whole, of such sporting event. Please refer to question 1. While arguably the treatment of betting on horse racing as a game of skill should apply to sports betting as well, currently the status of sports betting as a game of skill is sub judice in the Geeta Rani Case, as stated above. Section A of the IPC specifically prohibits private lotteries. Certain games have been specifically recognised as games of skill under the Nagaland Act. Such betting would also be subject to the rules of the independent Turf Clubs. Under most Gaming Enactments, casino games are treated as gambling activities in India, and are prohibited. However, if it is betting on casino games, please refer above. Operators take a conservative approach and do not offer their games in these States. Only the State of Nagaland regulates online games of skill. The eligibility above should be read in conjunction with the criteria covered in question 2. Certain other States have introduced legislation expressly banning lotteries in their States e.