Recently many queries have been raised about the applicable online gambling laws and regulations in India. We have also observed that e-commerce legal compliances in India are not followed in true letter and spirit. This may be due to lack of knowledge about applicable e-commerce laws but ignorance of laws is no excuse.
If e-commerce players do not follow the laws of the land, they may found themselves in uncomfortable situations. For instance, cyber law due diligence, Internet intermediary liability and cyber due diligence for Indian companies are some of the issues that have been ignored by almost all e-commerce players of India.
Coming back to the burning issue whether online gambling and online betting is legal in India or not? We have already covered the legality of online gambling and betting in India and other e-commerce compliance requirements in India but we would briefly cover the same once again.
The golden rule for deciding whether online gambling in India is legal or nor has to be judged by many factors that depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case and upon state to state. There are many states in India where gambling is legal and few where even online gambling and betting is legal. However, there are some states like Mumbai where online gambling is expressly prohibited and made a punishable offense. So it depends upon the state where you wish to carry the online gambling and betting business.
Then there is the rule of skills versus chance as laid down by the courts of India. As a general rule, where the game involves application of skill on the part of the player and the element of chance is minimal, the activity would be considered to be a game and not an act of gambling. However, the applicability of this test of skill versus chance may not be applicable to online or Internet games, betting and gambling as various judicial decisions pertaining to different sets of facts and circumstances and can be distinguished easily in subsequent litigations.
Finally, economic and taxation legislations like tax laws of India, anti money laundering laws, etc are also involved while operating online casinos, online gambling and betting and online gamming platforms. The provisions of these economic legislations are very stringent in nature and can cause great detriment to the owner or operator of the online casino, gambling and betting website.
To be on a safer side, it is better to comply with various techno legal laws of India while opening an online gambling, gaming and betting platform rather than facing the punitive provisions of Indian laws.