Cultural Identity and Real Money Gaming in India: A Study of Indian Gambler Predilection

Cultural Identity and Real Money Gaming in India: A Study of Indian Gambler Predilection

Recent surveys show that about 40% of Indian adults have gambled at least once a year on one or another online platform. The most popular gambling activities there are card games and sports betting in both online and land-based casinos. The best of them can be found at

It’s no wonder that casino operators consider India a very prospective market. The number of online casinos there has grown significantly over the past few years. But the status of online gambling platforms is a subject for discussion. The gaming industry in India, a country of more than a billion people, is illegal in the majority of states and territories.

Where in India online betting is legal? Are online casinos safe for Indian players? The answer to these and other questions could be found in this article. Keep reading!

Is gambling legal in India?

Indian gambling industry is under strict control. The only exceptions are lotteries and horse racing. Gambling is regulated by state governments. The archaic gambling laws date back to 1867 when the country was the English colony. This Gambling Act is a general law that controls Indian gambling industry.

The Act is a basic enactment that has been adopted by some Indian states. Most of the gambling legislations that have been enacted were done before the advent of online gambling or betting. So, they primarily refer to the physical form of gambling.

Of the 29 states and 7 Union Territories, most Conservative communities have adhered to British law, and have passed laws banning the gaming industry. Casino games are allowed by the laws of the states of Goa and Sikkim as well as the union territory of Daman and Diu.

Land-based casinos and slot machine halls in India

In India land-based casinos can be found only in the states of Goa and Sikkim, and the union territory of Daman and Diu. More than 20 legal casinos operate in the country, including the largest Deltin Daman casino with more than 1000 slots and terminals for video poker. The gambling industry is developing quite rapidly in Panjim, the capital of Goa, and in the highland state of Sikkim. About 10 new casinos have been opened there in the last 5 years.

The Things to Know About Online Gambling in India

Online gambling is still in the grey area in most parts. As all the regulations are based on the Public Gaming Act of 1867, they can’t be applied to online gambling. With this alone, online casino and betting activities can be considered neither legal, nor illegal.

Unregulated online gambling is a fertile ground for fraudulent activities. This can cause both money losses from players and leaks of their personal information.

At this point, the Republic of India uses legislation as the Information Technology Act of 2000 and the Payment and Settlement Act of 2007.

They are used to regulate online activities in the country. However, online gambling isn’t mentioned in any of them. Until today, Indians could only gamble in offshore casinos and bookies.

Nevertheless, the states of Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya have their gaming laws and licensing regimes. They have licensing authority for online gambling platforms.

In recent years, online gambling is increasingly in the spotlight in India. In July 2018, the law commission of India (LCI) called on the government to legalize gambling. They made the presentation designed to show that India should legalize gambling for raising badly needed government revenue the sooner the better.

At the beginning of this year, India’s government published a new set of rules regarding online gambling. They establish some “self-regulatory” bodies to make this sector more civilized.

What should we expect from online gambling in India?

To regulate the online gambling sector in the absence of national-level efforts, Indian states should put more pressure on the justice system. The make things easier, the governments of states Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu just imposed bans on online gambling apps.

At the same time, the aim of the Online Gaming Bill 2022 in the Lok Sabha is to establish an effective regime for matters connected to online games for real money and to regulate the online gaming market to prevent fraud misuse.

To put some order in this market, each local government should bring the legislative system to compliance with market requirements. They aren’t keen on losing out on economic benefits but still want safety cushions for their residents. It’s obvious that online gambling sites with proper regulations would attract large international companies and more players. On the contrary, non-regulated gambling platforms will remain as shadow businesses.


There is a prediction that the online gambling sector in India will reach a market size of $1 billion with an annual growth rate of 20%. According to it, the expansion of this sector may be caused by the following factors:

  • Greater internet penetration
  • Availability of smartphones at low prices
  • Convenient payment methods.

The total value of sports betting worldwide is estimated to be over $1 trillion. As it's becoming increasingly popular all over the globe, analysts expect its further growth. No wonder the sports betting and gambling businesses are booming in India!

Thus, it is unavoidable that this sector will continue to expand, and the number of people who seek entertainment on online gambling platforms will only increase.


Image Credits: Freepik

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