Is Betting Legal in India? A Complete Study

0 0 0

Guidebook Trust Regulation

Online betting in India is legally complex as there is no unified national law, leading to varied regulations across states. Some states outlaw all gambling, while others allow activities like horse racing or lotteries. The absence of clear legality of "online gambling" creates ambiguity, making it challenging for both service providers and users to discern what is legally allowed.

  • Betting on skill-based games is considered legal for most states in India. 
  • There isn't a specific law that outright bans online betting in India. 
  • Online betting with offshore bookmakers is not directly punishable under the current legal framework though payment methods may be restricted.
  • There are no documented instances of Indian individuals being penalised for engaging in online betting activities.

More Information

Online gambling in India involves legal challenges that are influenced by different laws. These include the Public Gambling Act of 1867, the Information Technology Act of 2000, IT Rules 2021, and the latest proposed changes in the IT Rules 2023. These laws together affect the rules around online gambling in India.

The Public Gambling Act, 1867

The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is an old law in India that focuses mainly on traditional gambling places and activities. According to this law, running or being present in a gambling house is illegal. Since this law was made long before the internet existed, it does not specifically mention online gambling. The law also permits settling some gambling offences by paying a fine instead of going to court. However, this option is not available to individuals who have already been convicted under this law before.

Information Technology Act, 2000

The Information Technology Act of 2000 is the main law in India that addresses cybercrime and online business activities. It creates a legal basis for handling electronic governance, acknowledging electronic documents and digital signatures. Although this Act doesn't directly refer to online gambling, it includes laws against cybercrimes that can relate to online gambling, like fraud and privacy violations.

IT Rules, 2021

The IT Rules 2021, set out clear responsibilities for intermediaries, such as online gaming platforms, to make the internet a safer, more reliable, and transparent space for users. These intermediaries are required to perform their duties carefully; if they do not, they risk losing their legal protection for the information posted on their platforms by others. Although these rules aim to manage online content, including games, they do not directly tackle the detailed issues related to online gambling.

Draft IT Rules 2023 and Draft Amendments

In January 2023, proposed changes to the IT Rules, 2021 were introduced, focusing on online gaming. These changes are designed to fill the regulatory gap in online gambling and offer a systematic way to manage this expanding sector. The specifics of these amendments are very important for those involved in the online gambling industry, as they could greatly influence the operation of online gambling sites in India.


The complexity of online gambling laws in India is mainly because gambling regulations differ from state to state without a unified national law for online gambling. Some states, such as Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, have completely banned all gambling activities, whereas others permit certain forms of wagering, like horse racing. This inconsistency creates uncertainty about the legal status of online gambling, placing it in a grey area.

Additionally, applying the Public Gambling Act to online gambling is complicated because the law is old and was not designed with the digital world in mind. Similarly, the Information Technology Act, despite being more recent, does not specifically target online gambling. This leaves law enforcement with limited resources to address online gambling issues.


The current legal situation for online gambling in India is evolving. The old Public Gambling Act of 1867 is not completely suitable for addressing today's digital challenges. The Information Technology Act of 2000 touches on cyber aspects but does not directly deal with online gambling. The draft IT Rules 2023 and its amendments show progress towards better regulation of online gambling. However, until these changes are officially adopted and put into action, online gambling remains in a legal grey area.

As India works on finding the right approach to regulate online gambling, it's essential to find a middle ground that prevents illegal activities while promoting a safe and ethical gambling environment. The development of legal guidelines will be important for everyone involved in the online gambling community.

Online betting in India is legally complex with no unified national law and varied regulations across states. Regulation could benefit India, but the path is not easy.

Sponsored Article
More Regulation Articles
Trust / Regulation / Betting and Gaming Jurisdictions
Trust / Regulation / Government control of Online Betting