A Chat on Online Gambling and Gaming Laws in India
The legal framework has been dragged along for a long time, and the Public Gambling Act of the 1800s still governs gambling legislation. Moreover, the concept of games of skill and games of chance is subjective, which makes it challenging to regulate online gambling in India.
Games of Skill vs Games of Chance: The Subjective Determination
The concept of games of skill and games of chance is subjective, and determining which is which is a challenge. States have the power to amend gambling legislation for themselves, leading to various states experimenting with regulating and licensing it.
However, as Uday Walia from Touchstone Partners explains, this has led to confusion about what constitutes games of skill and games of chance. “It just goes down to a very subjective determination of what is a game of chance, and what is a game of skill,” he says. This subjectivity makes it challenging to regulate online gambling in India, leaving many online gambling sites operating in a legal grey area.
The Greatest Problem with Gambling: Money Laundering
The greatest problem with gambling in India, according to Uday Walia from Touchstone Partners, is not addiction or social evils, as technology can offer solutions to these issues. The problem is money laundering. With the increase in online gambling sites, it has become easier for individuals to launder money through these sites.
“To my mind, the single greatest problem with gambling is not the addiction, and it’s not the social evils they talk about because there are ways around it. You can regulate the amount of money that can be bet. And technology has an answer to all of these problems. The problem is money laundering. And the best, or the single greatest reason to regulate it, is to cut out on avenues of money laundering.” Walia explains.
This highlights the importance of regulating online gambling in India, not only to prevent money laundering but also to protect vulnerable individuals.
TDS and GST: A Step Towards Recognizing Gambling and Gaming as Prevalent
The Indian government has taken some steps to regulate online gambling and gaming. In 2016, the government introduced a 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on all online gaming and gambling activities.
Furthermore, all winnings above INR 10,000 are subject to a 30% tax deduction at source (TDS). These steps show that the government recognizes the prevalence of online gambling and gaming and aims to regulate it. However, the industry still needs more comprehensive regulation to prevent money laundering and protect individuals.
To Conclude the SevenJackpots Podcast
In conclusion, online gambling and gaming have seen significant growth in India, but the legal landscape remains complex and challenging to navigate. The subjective determination of games of skill and games of chance has led to confusion and a legal grey area, making it difficult to regulate.
However, regulating online gambling is crucial to prevent money laundering and protect vulnerable individuals. The Indian government has taken steps towards regulation through the introduction of GST and TDS in the context of gambling online, but more comprehensive regulation is still needed. It is essential to continue the conversation on online gambling and gaming in India to ensure a safe and fair industry for all.