Gambling in Asia can be a confusing business. From betting on cricket to enjoying a few slot game spins, gambling is available in many forms. But, just because it’s made available to locals, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s permitted. So, is it legal to bet online in India?
As a rule of thumb, most gambling in India is illegal. But there are certain loopholes and grey areas which mean players can enjoy real money bets with no legal consequences.
Two Acts hold a significant impact over the legality of gambling in India: the 1888 Police Act and the Gaming Act of 1930. But, in 1996, the Supreme Court of India proclaimed that it was legal to bet on horse races in India. Why? Because they determined it was skill-based as opposed to luck-based.
With that precedent set, it seems bizarre that all sports betting in India doesn’t fall under the same ruling. Does betting on a horse race require more skill than betting on cricket? It’s unlikely. Take a look at the prediction site and you’ll see that they use a combination of A.I. technology and human input. Is that blind luck? Certainly not.
Online betting in India
Nonetheless, gambling is currently illegal in the majority of states in India – including cricket bets. But what about online betting?
At the moment, there is no specific law with makes it easy to stop online gambling illegal in India. To add an extra layer of safety, many players opt to use offshore betting agencies, as they believe it lowers the chances of them attracting attention. As long as the offshore site promotes the use of Indian rupees as a method of payment, it’s all legal.
Other techniques can be incorporated for anybody who is looking to keep a low profile while betting on cricket online in India. For example, the choice of payment method can be crucial. Using an e-wallet – or cryptocurrency, where available – helps keep things anonymous when depositing and withdrawing. And, because it’s all done electronically, funds can be shifted around fairly quickly.
Using a VPN
Another trick of the trade is to use a virtual private network (VPN) to mask the IP address. This can make it easier to access certain online gambling sites, and claim offers which may not be available to players in India who aren’t using a VPN.
It is already very tricky for the authorities to keep tabs on where bets are coming from, and using a VPN makes it even more difficult. If players use an online bookies which is located outside of India, this makes enforcing any rules even more testing.
Of course, using e-wallets and a VPN are extra safety measures which some cautious players choose to employ. In reality, they shouldn’t be needed.
Law in India is a lottery
In a strange twist, betting on the lottery in India is legal. When you consider that betting on horse racing is legal because it’s based on skill, and a lottery is the definition of a luck-based game, this shows that there is a lack of joint-up thinking in Indian gambling laws.
In fairness to the Indian authorities, there are three states which allow gambling: Goa, Daman and Sikkim. They boast well over a dozen casinos between them, and Sikkim tried to secure three online gambling licences back in 2010. However, the move never materialised.
Betting on cricket in India is certainly a grey area. As long as players take in the information above and stick to online betting, they should have no problems placing real money wagers on cricket in India.