Gambling in India is a complicated legal field as Indian Constitution has conferred the power to make laws regarding gambling to various states of India. While these states are free to make gambling and gaming laws within the parameters of their respective jurisdictions, they cannot encroach upon the territories of other states in this regard.
When Internet and other technologies are used, gambling and gamming assumes the character of online gambling and gaming. This is clearly not allowed as per the constitutional scheme. This is the reason that online gambling in India is a subject for the central government to manage. However, online gambling legal issues in India are not easy to manage.
The issue of legality of online gaming in India is pending before the Supreme Court of India says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based technology law firm Perry4Law. However, the decision of Supreme Court in this regard may not bring a relief to online gaming stakeholders at large. The Supreme Court sought the opinion of Central Government in this regard but the same was not formally provided by the Central Government till now.
The problem with online poker and online rummy websites of India is that a dominant majority of them are not at all following the laws of India and are actually violating the same, informs Dalal. They may be prosecuted very soon as allowing them to operate in an illegal manner would be counterproductive in the long run, opines Dalal.
There has been an increased numbers of arrests and prosecutions of various individuals and companies in India in this regard. For instance, recently the owner of an online betting website for IPL 7 was arrested in Mumbai for allowing betting on his website. Similar arrests have been made by police of Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, etc. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also established a Sports Integrity Unit to investigate illegal sports betting in India.
According to Perry4Law, till the time Indian Supreme Court or central government clarifies the legal position regarding online gaming and gambling in India, the online gaming/gambling stakeholders must comply with existing and applicable techno legal requirements of Indian laws.