Online Gambling Growth in India Shows Need for Progressive Law
Based on the most recent data, the Internet users in India amount to over 560 people.
India’s online gambling industry is on the rise. Currently, its value is $930 million and according to projections, it will grow to over $112 billion in 2025. Many factors propel the expansion of India’s gambling market. One of them is that India has one of the youngest populations in the world.
Based on the most recent data, the Internet users in India amount to over 560 people. Furthermore, over 748 million people in India use smartphones. All these factors coupled together led to the exponential growth of the online gambling industry throughout the country.
Is Online Gambling Legal in India?
When it comes to gambling, the legal landscape in India is quite complex because the country has 27 autonomous states. This means that the legal status of the online gambling industry throughout the country varies between the different states. The gambling industry in India is regulated on a state and national level. New report about the regulation in India provides detailed information about the current laws that govern the gambling industry.
If we have to discuss the regulations on a national level, we would outline three main pieces of legislation, including The Public Gambling Act of 1867, The Prize Competition Act of 1955, and The Information Technology Act of 2000. As you can see, all of them were enacted years ago, when the online gambling industry was not even on the horizon.
What the Laws Say
Under The Public Gambling Act of 1867, all forms of gambling are forbidden. Some people claim that this act pertains to both online and offline gambling. However, at the time when the Act came into force, the Internet was still not invented.
The Prize Competition Act restricts all forms of prize competitions in which the prize pool exceeds one thousand rupees per month. Even though The Information Technology Act of 2000 can be applied to online gambling, it does not state that this form of entertainment is illegal.
Currently, India lacks adequate regulations to address the unprecedented growth of the online gambling industry. Even though online gambling is illegal in most Indian states, no one has ever been prosecuted for playing at a web-based casino.
Sikkim is the only state in India that implemented cut-and-clear online gambling regulations. Under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act of 2008, casino fans can play various table games online. When it comes to land-based casinos, only Sikkim and Goa host a limited number of gambling establishments.
Why Online Gambling Should Be Regulated in India?
India’s confusing gambling laws are harmful to the country’s economy. The flourishing gambling industry could generate millions of dollars to Indian coffers. Instead, the money goes to offshore gambling sites that target Indian players. What is more, the country has no authority to protect players’ interests and resolve possible disputes between players and casino operators.
By regulating the online gambling industry, India will curb illicit gambling activities and boost the economy. What is more, the country will be able to better estimate the percentage of people affected by gambling problems and help them tackle the issue.
Generally speaking, India makes a distinction between luck-based and skill-based games. Simply put, games of skills are those that rely on a person’s knowledge in the game. However, no game relies entirely on luck or skills. There is no denying that some games are more dependent on skills or luck, but every game includes both elements. Hence, such a distinction is not well-justified and that is one of the reasons why India should overhaul its gambling laws.
The Future of the Online Gambling Industry in India
Many industry experts claim that the online gambling industry in India will continue flourishing, and we fully agree with this. The only problem is that some Indian states refuse to leave the past behind and embrace the future. For example, Andhra Pradesh recently published an Ordinance, announcing that the state will never regulate the online gambling industry.
On a more positive note, many other states examine the opportunity to regulate the online gambling industry. According to our humble opinion, if a single state dares to take some steps toward regulating the industry, many others will follow its example.