A bet can be put into minutes. Anyone with credit cards can set up an offshore currency account with a gambling site, leaving them absolve to place bets on sporting events like Wimbledon, cricket, horse racing and Formula One, or join a virtual casino to play slots, roulette, blackjack, poker etc. Companies like Flutter and Betmart accept bets on anything from who’s likely to win the Nobel Prize to whether Madonna gets a divorce or not. Bets can range from a nickel to thousands of dollars and according to whether you win or lose the total amount is automatically adjusted to your account. The final balance may then either be mailed to you or left for future bets.
The law relating to online gambling in India needs to be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. First, gambling, although not absolutely prohibited in India, does not receive express encouragement by policy makers. The Indian organized gambling industry is estimated to be worth around US$8 billion. While stringent laws have checked the proliferation of casinos and high street gaming centres as in lots of other countries, barring hawaii of Goa, the lottery business remains the most post popular form of gambling.
Though gambling isn’t illegal, it is a highly controlled and regulated activity. Modern India is really a quasi-federal Constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at the federal along with the state levels. Gambling features in List II of the Constitution of India, this implies that the state governments have the authority to enact laws as a way to regulate gambling in the respective states. Thus, there is absolutely no single law governing gambling in the entire country. Different states have different laws governing gambling as well as the laws that have an application across the country. While some states have banned lotteries, other states allow state government lotteries marketed and distributed in other lottery playing and promoting states through private entities.
Regulation of gambling
The courts have defined gambling as ‘the payment of a cost for a chance to win a prize’. The dominant part of skill or chance shall determine the nature of the game. A casino game may be deemed to be gambling if the element of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. Because of this, Indian courts have held that betting on horse racing and a few card games aren’t gambling. The right to undertake the business of gambling and lotteries isn’t considered as a simple right protected by the Constitution of India. It may however be remarked that hawaii government run lotteries make significant contributions to hawaii exchequer of several state governments and the Union government, and therefore there is a resistance to complete prohibition.
The next legislation is pertinent to gambling:
The Public Gaming Act, 1867
This Act provides punishment for public gambling and for keeping of a ‘common gaming house’. This Act also authorises the state governments to enact laws to regulate public gambling within their respective jurisdictions. The penal legislations in respective states have been amended relative to their policy on gambling. However, this legislation does not have any direct effect on online gambling unless a wide interpretation is given to this is of common gaming house in order to include virtual forums aswell.
The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (ICA)
The ICA is a codified umbrella legislation that governs all commercial contracts in India. Beneath the ICA, a wagering contract is the one which cannot be enforced. The Act lays down; ‘Agreements through wager are void, and no suit will be brought for recovering anything alleged to be won on any wager or entrusted to anybody to abide by the consequence of any game or other uncertain event which any wager is made’. Gambling, lottery and prize games have held to be wagering contracts and therefore void and unenforceable. While a wagering contract is not illegal, it cannot be enforced in a court of law. Thus, the courts will not entertain any cause of action that arises out of a wagering contract.
Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998
This Act provides a framework for organizing lotteries in the country. Under this Act, hawaii governments have been authorized to promote together with prohibit lotteries within their territorial jurisdiction. This Act also offers the manner in which the lotteries should be conducted and prescribes punishment in the event of breach of its provision. Lotteries not authorized by the state have been made an offence under the Indian Penal Code. lido88 -lottery playing states, like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have prohibited the sale of other state-government lotteries under this Act.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 294A handles keeping lottery office. It says that whoever keeps any office or place for the purpose of drawing any lottery not being truly a State lottery or a lottery authorised by hawaii Government, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which might extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.
And whoever publishes any proposal to cover any sum, or to deliver any goods, or to do or forbear doing anything for the benefit of anybody, on any event or contingency relative or applicable to the drawing of any ticket, lot, number or figure in virtually any such lottery, will be punished with fine which might extend to one thousand rupees.
The law linked to gambling is also applicable to online gambling. All gambling contracts are believed to be wagering contracts and it is not possible to enforce such contracts beneath the ICA, detailed above.