A bet can be placed in minutes. Anyone with credit cards can create an offshore currency account with a gambling site, leaving them free 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 is getting a divorce or not. Bets can range from a nickel to thousands of dollars 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 associated with online gambling in India has to be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. First, gambling, although playking88 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 traditional gaming centres as in many other countries, barring the state 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 a quasi-federal Constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at the federal in addition to the state levels. Gambling features in List II of the Constitution of India, this implies that hawaii governments have the authority to enact laws to be able to regulate gambling in the respective states. 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. Although 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 price for a chance to win a prize’. The dominant element of skill or chance shall determine the type of the game. A casino game may be deemed to be gambling if the element of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. Therefore, 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 fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India. It may however be pointed out that hawaii government run lotteries make significant contributions to the state exchequer of several state governments and the Union government, and therefore there is a resistance to perform 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 regulate public gambling within their respective jurisdictions. The penal legislations in respective states have already been amended in accordance with their policy on gambling. However, this legislation doesn’t have any direct effect on online gambling unless a broad interpretation is given to the definition of common gaming house so as to include virtual forums aswell.
The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (ICA)
The ICA is really a codified umbrella legislation that governs all commercial contracts in India. Under the ICA, a wagering contract may be the one which can’t be enforced. The Act lays down; ‘Agreements through wager are void, and no suit shall be brought for recovering anything alleged to be won on any wager or entrusted to anybody to abide by the result of any game or other uncertain event on 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 cannot be enforced in a court of law. Thus, the courts will not entertain any reason behind 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, hawaii governments have been authorized to market along with prohibit lotteries of their territorial jurisdiction. This Act also offers 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 been made an offence under 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 perhaps a lottery authorised by the State 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 even to deliver any goods, or even to do or forbear doing anything for the advantage of any person, 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 may extend to one thousand rupees.
The law related to gambling is also applicable to online gambling. All gambling contracts are considered to be wagering contracts and it is extremely hard to enforce such contracts beneath the ICA, detailed above.