Online casinos have taken the world by storm. Its popularity has soared in recent years, with more platforms being established and becoming available to global markets, particularly India. Part of the reason for its acceleration in India is the grey area the country finds itself in regarding online gaming.
The Existing Gambling Laws
India’s gaming laws are quite outdated, to say the least. Gambling has been present in the country for centuries, with archaeologists claiming to have found dice made from cubes of sandstone and terracotta. Some evidence also points to the Indus Valley people betting on cockfighting and other activities.
After India’s constitution came into force, each state adopted the Public Gambling Act or a version of it with certain amendments. Since then, every state has been able to determine if it allows gambling or not, and since the PGA doesn’t address online gambling, it leaves the laws open to interpretation.
Only a few states allow physical casinos to operate, including Goa, Sikkim, and, to a very small degree, Nagaland. With the advent of the internet and casino games now being available at the touch of a button, it’s forced the Indian government to act.
Indian Government Action
Because locals could easily access an offshore casino, there was little or no control of their activity from the Indian government’s perspective. Consequently, they decided to outline some rules that regulate online casinos.
At the turn of 2024, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India published a draft of rules that could address the shortcomings of the country’s gambling laws. However, their involvement in online gambling shouldn’t be viewed as a hindrance but rather a positive.
It means that Indian gamblers will have a degree of protection from the government while the industry can grow freely and help grow the economy. They’ve also included online games in the Financial Bill of 2023 that makes a clear distinction between games of skill and games and luck. This issue wasn’t addressed in the Public Gambling Act of 1867.
The Financial Bill also addresses issues with a user’s winnings, taxes, and definitions. At the time of writing, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was still to be decided.
Guarding Against Social Effects of Gambling
Gambling can be addictive and has the potential to lead to further issues for a problem gambler. Both the government and casino operators must fight gambling addiction together. The Indian government places requirements on casinos in terms of providing enough responsible gambling tools.
Being proactive about problem gambling means citizens are equipped with the necessary tools, and the proposed rules from the government will form part of the Indian Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code.
Since addictive gambling has little or no signs, casinos must offer users the chance to apply certain thresholds to their accounts to avoid reckless spending from consumers. Additionally, the Know Your Customer process must be enforced to evaluate an individual’s financial standing. As a result, it becomes clear when a player is gambling more money than they earn, enabling the casino to put a halt on the individual’s account for their own protection.
India’s Gambling Future
There are only positives with the Indian government putting regulations in place for online gambling. The state gets to collect taxes and increase their revenue while players can enjoy their games without the risk of freefalling into gambling addiction.
With their new regulations, they must set certain standards for online casinos to meet before being allowed to offer their services. Furthermore, they must force operators to market their products within certain parameters while ensuring that the problems of gambling are also advertised to the public.
Santosh Kumar is a Professional SEO and Blogger, With the help of this blog he is trying to share top 10 lists, facts, entertainment news from India and all around the world.