A bet can be placed in minutes. Anyone with a credit card can setup an offshore currency account with a gambling site, leaving them absolve to place bets on sports like Wimbledon, cricket, horse racing and Formula One, or join a virtual casino to play slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker etc. Companies like Flutter and Betmart accept bets on anything from who is likely to win the Nobel Prize to whether Madonna gets a divorce or not. Bets can range from a nickel to thousands and according to whether you win or lose the amount is automatically adjusted back. The final balance can then either be mailed for you or left for future bets.
The law relating to online gambling in India should be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. First, gambling, although not absolutely prohibited in India, will 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 the state of Goa, the lottery business remains probably the most post popular type of gambling.
Though gambling is not 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 plus the state levels. Gambling features in List II of the Constitution of India, therefore that hawaii governments have the authority to enact laws so that you can regulate gambling in the respective states. DNABET Thus, there is absolutely no single law governing gambling in the complete country. Different states have different laws governing gambling in addition to the laws that have an application across the country. While some states have banned lotteries, other states allow state 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 element of skill or chance shall determine the nature of the game. A game could be deemed to be gambling if the component of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. Subsequently, Indian courts have held that betting on horse racing and a few card games are not gambling. The right to attempt the business enterprise of gambling and lotteries is not considered as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India. It may however be remarked that the state government run lotteries make significant contributions to hawaii exchequer of several state governments and the Union government, and hence there is a resistance to complete prohibition.
The following legislation is pertinent to gambling:
THE GENERAL PUBLIC Gaming Act, 1867
This Act provides punishment for public gambling and for keeping of a ‘common gaming house’. This Act also authorises hawaii governments to enact laws to modify public gambling in their respective jurisdictions. The penal legislations in respective states have been amended in accordance with 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 as well.
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 may be the one which cannot be enforced. The Act lays down; ‘Agreements by way of wager are void, no suit shall be brought for recovering anything purported to be won on any wager or entrusted to any person to abide by the result 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 isn’t illegal, it can’t 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 offers a framework for organizing lotteries in the country. Under this Act, the state governments have been authorized to market together with prohibit lotteries of their territorial jurisdiction. This Act also provides for the manner where the lotteries are to be conducted and prescribes punishment in case of breach of its provision. Lotteries not authorized by the state have already been made an offence beneath the Indian Penal Code. Several non-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 intended purpose of drawing any lottery not being truly a State lottery or a lottery authorised by hawaii Government, will be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which might extend to half a year, or with fine, or with both.
And whoever publishes any proposal to pay any sum, or even to deliver any goods, or even 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 1 thousand rupees.
The law related to gambling is also applicable to online gambling. All gambling contracts are believed to be wagering contracts in fact it is extremely hard to enforce such contracts under the ICA, detailed above.