Online Casinos in India: An overview

Online Casinos in India

The state of online casinos in India is far from desirable. The Indian federal government is yet to lift its ban on betting activities. A ban is not a form of regulation. The lack of proper regulations created a vacuum. As a result, a black market of Indian casinos online currently fills that vacuum.

In 2017, a report was given as regards the current state of online casinos in India. The report clearly states that there is need to properly regulate online casinos in India. Despite this comprehensive report from the various stakeholders, there is still no legal framework to regulate the online casinos in India.

Legality of Indian Casinos

The legality of an online casino is not clear, however, the gambling laws in India regarding land casinos are very direct. Playing casino games or partaking in any gambling activity is prohibited. Yet, the ban does not affect games of skills like horse racing.

The Indian government categorize gambling games into games of skill and games of luck. Most bans are about games of luck. Despite the federal rule, Indian states are authorized to make and enforce gambling laws.

Most Indian states do not bother to make further laws besides the already existing federal gambling laws in India. Other states decide to further ban gambling at Indian casinos online. Of all the states in India, only three states regulate gambling activities.

Goa

Goa is the pioneer establishment of casinos in India. The gaming act only mentioned 'land' casinos. Goa authorities then permitted casino owners to establish floating casinos. This was possible as these floating casinos are boats situated on water. They also qualify as overseas casinos.

With recent development, there are now land casinos. However, these casinos cannot operate as casinos. They are merely part of a bigger establishment like hotels, restaurants, spas and so on. Furthermore, locals are prohibited from gambling at these floats or land casinos in India.

Daman

Gambling activities in Daman are guided by the same rules as Goa. The authorities in Daman allow establishments like hotels to provide slot machines and other gambling equipment to its customers. However, these customers are required to register as members at these casinos. Without membership, Indian players cannot play at land casinos in this state.

Daman and Goa are governed by the same laws. This means that the locals are also banned from gambling at online casinos.

Sikkim

Of all three, Sikkim is the best online casino state. It properly regulates every online casino India has. Sikkim has a server from where online casinos can provide casino online services. Sikkim once offered to allow other states to use its servers when providing online casino services. However, the other states rejected the proposal.

The server helps in the regulation of online casinos. Companies that offer casino services online will have to get a license from the Sikkim government before using the server. As a matter of fact, before giving licenses to any online casino, Sikkim government screens them thoroughly. Failure to abide by the rules will cause the government to revoke the casino's license and remove it from the server.

Enforcing Gambling Laws

The government cannot go from house to house checking people's phone to see if they are gambling online. Some Indians even use multiple phones. Indians can also play casino games online via a computer. They do not need to install the app to play as there are numerous no download casino online options.

The ease of playing is one of the reasons why online betting is widely accepted by Indians. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a further increase in gambling activities among Indians. To curb online casino activities, the Indian government put the following measures in place.

Limiting Banking Options

The art of gambling involves money. Most online casinos use the currency of the place of operation as its default currency. Therefore, online casinos in India use Indian rupees as the medium of exchange. This is important to enable smooth transactions.

One way the government curbs gambling is by stopping gamblers from playing in rupees. The government cannot go to the casino online and stop players from playing. To stop gamblers from playing in rupees, the government directs banks from enabling transactions.

This is one of the reasons why Indian players are unable to fund their casino online wallets via over the counter transactions. Some debit or credit cards like Verve may also not work when depositing or withdrawing at online casinos.

Stopping Gambling Advertisement

Information is power and not having it simply makes one powerless. To win the fight against online casinos in India, the Indian government ensures that information about online casinos are not propagated.

It uses the information technology act as reference. The act forbids the propagation of harmful information. Gambling is considered harmful in India. Indians see gambling as a threat to the family unit. Radio and television stations are prohibited from advertising online casinos as well as casino games.

Restricting Players Access to Online Casinos

To access a casino online, you need data and an active internet connection. Your network provider provides you with these services for a fee. These network providers also monitor the actions of their subscribers. They can also control the activities of their uses.

Knowing this, the Indian government directs network providers to restrict the access of gamblers. Network providers will then block players from accessing the websites of online casinos.

Challenges of Enforcing Online Casino Laws in India

One does not need to know a soothsayer to know that these measures are not enough to stop Indians from gambling at online casinos. There are many ways to go around these methods. Most Indians are already using them.

It is also important to note that the government does not stop Indians from playing at online casinos. Perhaps it is because the government cannot actually stop them. That said, below are some counter measures Indian gamblers are employing.

Using Digital Banking Options

To counter the limited banking options, Indian gamblers now use digital payment options like Skrill, Neteller, Paytm, PayPal, Cryptocurrencies and the likes. They simply select the value of Indian rupees they want to deposit and the online casino shows the amount of digital currency to be transferred.

Social Media Communication

There are more people on social media than in front of a radio or television. Betting companies pay social media influencers in countries overseas to promote their casinos. Indians on social media will see these promotions and register.

Use of VPNs

VPNs allow individuals to access servers that they are blocked from accessing. With a good internet connection, Indian players can bypass the restriction of network providers.

Despite the efforts of the government to totally ban online casinos, they are still flourishing. Perhaps it's time for proper regulation.

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