Is Online Betting Legal in India?
If you are an Indian sports fan looking to bet online, you are probably wondering if it’s legal. Well, what you need to know is that there are no federal laws against online sports betting in India. And even though there are no local betting sites, punters can always visit legal offshore online gambling sites. There, they are free to bet on sports and play online casino games without worrying about the legal implications. Read on to find out more.
An Overview of Sports Betting In India
The Indian betting industry has grown tremendously in recent years. This is due to the increasing number of sports punters who wish to bet on their favourite sports online. Many online betting sites have also emerged, allowing bettors to wager on virtually any sport they want. The big question is: is online betting legal in India? Well, there are no specific Indian laws that prohibit punters from betting online, so the legal situation remains in a grey area.
Even though the Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits gambling, it does not state that online betting is legal or illegal. So, it’s a matter of choosing whether you want to gamble online or not. If you choose to, you can wager on cricket, football, horse racing, kabaddi, basketball, tennis and many more sports. All you have to do is join an online betting site with your preferred betting markets.
Which Betting Sites Are legal in India?
International betting sites are the key operators that allow Indian players to bet on virtually any sport online. In other words, online gambling sites in the country are operated by offshore companies that accept players from India. The most important thing is to choose trusted gambling platforms that allow you to place bets and play casino games safely.
The good news is our experts have already picked the best legal betting sites in India for you. We only recommended licensed operators with the biggest odds and generous bonuses for all players. Have a look at our list of the top online gambling sites in India and join your favourite now to grab your welcome bonus.
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Gambling Laws in India
The legal aspects of online gambling in India are a bit sophisticated just because the laws are not clear. But the bottom line is that there is no single law that renders online betting illegal. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is the central law that prohibits operating or visiting a public gambling house in the country. Any person found guilty of breaching this law faces a penalty of ₹200 or up to three months in prison. And the fine for anyone caught visiting a public gambling house is ₹100 or one months in prison.
Here comes the interesting bit – the 1867 nationwide Indian law does not explicitly say that online gambling is illegal. Remember that the Act was implemented even before the inception of the internet. Technically, it does not apply to online betting or playing casino games online for real money. So, we can confidently conclude that online betting in India is legal. The other thing you need to know is that there are no local betting sites, so you can only rely on offshore options.
We must also mention that all states have the freedom to enact their own laws for gambling practices. This is according to the seventh schedule of the Indian constitution, which was formulated in 1950. Instead of enforcing the main gambling law created by the Indian government, individual states can impose laws to ban or allow certain forms of gambling. So, each state government can develop state-specific gambling laws and exercise full control over all betting activities.
State Gambling Laws in India
As mentioned before, country-wide gambling laws in India allow individual states to create their own laws. Only a few states have taken steps to enact gambling laws, and betting on games of luck is generally illegal in most places. Indian states that have shown significant progress in offering legal gambling services and creating laws include Sikkim, Goa and Daman.
The north-eastern state of Sikkim is one of the leading states as far as the legality of online betting is concerned. In 2009, the state launched its first casino, allowing Indian players to enjoy some state-owned lotteries. And the state of Goa is best known for its world-class cruises that offer floating casinos like Casino Deltin JAQK, Deltin Royale and Casino Pride. These casinos operate under the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act of 1976. According to this law, gambling operators can seek permission to set up casinos at 5-star hotels and offshore vessels.
Betting on Games of Skill and Games of Chance in India
India has categorized games that you can gamble on into two main groups. There are games of skill as well as games of chance. Games of skill require the player to have prior knowledge, training or gaming experience to play. These games are considered legal in most Indian states because players can rely on skills to win. On the other hand, games of chance do not require any special skills to play. You can play them without prior knowledge or experience because they are based on luck.
Horse Racing Betting and Lotteries
One controversial thing about Indian gambling laws is that horse race betting falls under games of skill. This has raised a lot of questions about the difference between horse racing betting and other options such as cricket betting or football betting. Anyway, it is said that you need prior knowledge to engage in horse race betting, so it’s not entirely about luck. But the good news is betting on horse races is a popular choice at most betting sites in India.
Lotteries are also considered legal in India as per the existing gambling laws. As we speak, several Indian states have already legalized lotteries. You will find these games in states like Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Punjab, Manipur and Meghalaya.
Indian Rummy (Paplu) Betting
Rummy is another fascinating game loved by many Indian players today. The game has previously raised concerns because it seems to combine the features of games of chance and games of skill. The Supreme Court of India has held that Rummy is not 100% a game of chance. This is because it requires certain skills, such as memorizing cards, to stand a better chance of winning.
Other Popular Sports to Bet on at Indian Betting Sites
Horse racing betting, lotteries and Rummy are not the only options you have in India. Any top-rated betting site in the country will offer a wide variety of sports to bet on. Some of them even act as online casinos, allowing you to play casino games such as slots, table games and bingo. As an Indian citizen looking to place bets on sports, you should be able to wager on all types of sports, from cricket to football.
Cricket Betting Sites
Cricket betting is a major source of attraction just because the sport has a huge following in India. Almost all legal betting sites targeting Indian players will offer cricket betting options. You only need to find a cricket betting site that operates out of India.
There, you can place all sorts of bets on things like total scores, runs and innings. The Indian Premier League is one of the top choices for cricket fans in the country.
Football Betting Sites
You won’t have difficulty finding a football online betting site in India because there are numerous options. Football is the second most popular sport in the country after cricket, and many international betting sites are capitalizing on this market. Sports punters can wager on big events like the Indian Super League, I-League and the English Premier League.
Kabaddi Betting Sites
Kabaddi is another fun-filled game that you can bet on at legal betting sites in India. Even though not all online betting websites offer Kabaddi markets, some do. You’ll be delighted to learn that you can place bets on the Indian Pro Kabaddi League, which has been around since 2014. Each season attracts millions of players who visit online bookmakers to wager on their favourite teams.
Note that cricket betting, horse race betting, football betting and Kabaddi betting only form the tip of the iceberg. The list of online betting options in the country is long. Punters can bet on other sports such as tennis, basketball, baseball, golf, MMA, esports and more. For example, you can wager on NBA and NFL events with enticing odds.
Choosing the Best Legal Betting Sites in India
Now that you know that it’s possible to gamble in India at online betting sites and online casinos, you can start today. Remember that the only way to have the best online gaming experience is to choose the best online betting sites in India. Lucky for you, our experts have reviewed and tested all top international sportsbooks accepting players from India. Our listings only feature trustworthy and regulated gambling websites with valid licences. The following are the key factors we consider when picking sports betting options for you.
|License and Online Safety||Before you engage in any form of online betting in India, you must first establish whether the selected betting site is licensed. Since there are no online gambling licences in India, we focus on offshore sports betting sites licensed by reputable organisations. The leading licence issuers for sportsbooks and online casinos include the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority and Curacao e-Gaming. All regulated gambling sites must also provide a safe gaming environment by using high-tech technologies like HTTPS and SSL.|
|Convenient Payment Methods||A reliable Indian betting site will allow you to legally deposit money using trusted deposit methods. It must also provide safe and fast withdrawal banking options that you can use to cash out your winnings. Some of the most used deposit methods at legal betting sites in India include UPI, NetBanking, Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, bank transfers, Skrill, Neteller, bank cards and also sometimes PayPal. The best sports bookmakers will also make sure that you can deposit and withdraw money using Indian rupees.|
|Wide Range of Betting Options||All top-rated online sports betting sites for Indian punters offer a broad selection of betting markets. There must be something for everyone to make sure that no one is left out. We only feature bookies that cover the most popular sports, starting with cricket and football. When it comes to bets, a decent betting site will cover all possible options. These include but are not limited to match-winner bets, parlays, over/under bets, point spreads, futures bets, live wagers and proposition bets.|
|Competitive Odds on All Sports Betting Markets||The odds provided by a sports betting site in India will determine how much money you can win. You want your betting odds to be as high as possible so you can earn huge profits when you make correct bets. Given that there are many online betting sites, you will need to compare the various options to pick markets with the biggest odds.|
|Huge Sports Betting Bonuses and Promotions||The most visited Indian betting sites know how to attract punters by offering generous sports betting bonuses. They always make sure that there is a nice welcome bonus for all new players upon registration. On top of that, they reward their most loyal customers with additional promotions. The available offers will vary from one betting site to another, so it helps to compare the options. Don’t forget to check the bonus terms and conditions to choose promotions with favourable rules.|
|Mobile Compatibility||Mobile online betting in India is booming thanks to the rising number of mobile users. The best cricket betting sites, football sportsbooks and other gambling websites will let players place bets on sports using mobile devices. You should be able to bet on any sporting event you like using the mobile-friendly website. Some of the top online bookmakers also have mobile betting apps that offer the online sports betting service you want. Thus, you can wager on the go without needing to use a computer.|
|First-Rate Customer Support Service||The quality of customer support service at the best sportsbooks in India should be second to none. Live chat support is the most effective option nowadays because it allows you to interact with support agents instantly. Other useful communication channels include email messages and phone contacts. The point is to have a trained team of representatives who can provide punters with the help they need 24/7.|
|A Nice Casino Section||If the sports betting site also offers online casino games, we expect to see a huge variety. We are talking about online slots from leading game providers, video poker, bingo and table games like roulette, baccarat, blackjack and poker. An incredible live casino is also a major consideration if you wish to bet on table games with live dealers.|
Lucrative Online Betting Bonus You Should Claim in India
How about claiming a signup offer or some cricket-free bets? If that sounds good, we are excited to inform you that there’s more. The first offer you will find at the best betting sites in India is a welcome bonus. This is often the most lucrative promotion because bookmakers use it to lure new players to sign up. It could be a match bonus awarded on your first deposit up to a specified amount. If you get a 100% match bonus, it means that the betting site will double your deposit. You only need to meet the minimum deposit requirement.
Placing qualifying bets will also open doors to free bets at many online sportsbooks in India. You simply deposit and bet a certain amount of money to receive free bet credits. Some of these bonuses come with risk-free bets, allowing you to get a refund of your first bet if you lose. After claiming your free bets and other new player promotions, you can then look for other offers. These include more free bets on selected sports, cashback offers on your losses, boosted odds, reload bonuses if you keep depositing and VIP perks.
The main question we were trying to answer in this guide is whether online betting is legal in India. We had established that the current federal laws that prohibit gambling were enacted before the internet existed. So, it is legal to bet online because the existing laws do not expressibly declare that online gambling is legal or illegal. Sportsbook operators cannot offer betting services locally, so Indian punters need to find offshore betting sites.
We have created a list of international legal betting sites that accept players from India. Just look at our recommended bookmakers and pick the ones you like. You can sign up for an account today and log in to claim a welcome bonus with a small deposit. All the best!