Legality of Online Casinos in India

Legal Online Casinos India

If you are wondering about questions like ‘Are online casinos legal in India?’ you have come to the right place! Our experts have researched and brought you the complex nature of online gaming laws in India. 

Here you will learn about the legal landscape of online gambling in the Indian states. Before we move on to that part, let us first understand whether casino betting in India is legal.

Is Casino Betting Legal in India?

Casino betting in India is one of the most popular pass times for Indians. However, some are more lucky than others. This is because most Indian states consider casino gambling dangerous and ban it.

However, some states allow you to gamble at water-based casinos and others only at online casinos. If this sounds wonderful to you and you wish to know the name of these states, then hold your horses. Let us first decode the legality of casinos in India. 

The Indian government has only one act in its constitution about gambling. However, the act is not equipped with laws that could enforce safe gambling in the current scenarios, as the bill was passed in 1867 when there was no online gambling industry. 

This bill is called the ‘Public Gaming Act of 1867’. This bill says that all forms of gambling are prohibited in India and is a punishable offence which can lead to imprisonment and a fine. We will discuss it more in the next section, and let us now see how this bill affects the gambling scenario in India. 

The Indian states are free to follow this bill or pass their bill to determine the legal status of gambling in the state. Some states like Goa and others used this freedom well and created their own bill where gambling was legal to generate more revenue and boost tourism. 

The government of Sikkim passed the ‘Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Amendments Act, 2009’, which allowed the state government to shut down illegal gambling houses and websites and issue a government-backed gaming licence. Only those who have a licence can offer gambling services in Sikkim. 

Mizoram gambling laws follow the ‘Public Gaming Act of 1867’ and prohibit online and offline gambling in the state. 

In conclusion, the legality of casinos in India solely depends on in which state you live. If you want to know more about the ‘Public Gaming Act of 1867’, keep reading below. 

History of Gambling Laws in India

India may not hold the same level of prominence as renowned gambling destinations like Las Vegas and Macau. The country's modern gambling industry falls short compared to the offerings in those cities. 

However, this was not always the case. India boasts some of the earliest historical gambling records, with several familiar games originating from the region. The Vedic religion, a precursor to contemporary Hinduism, influenced India for centuries. 

Within this context, two prophets recognised that the wisdom contained within the Vedas was not easily accessible to the general population. To address this, they authored two ancient Sanskrit texts: The Ramayana and The Mahabharata. 

These timeless epics contain some of the earliest documented references to gambling. The Ramayana, for instance, alludes to games of chance, including gambling boards and dice games, believed to have existed as far back as 7300 B.C.E. Scholars speculate that these boards were utilised for an early iteration of chess.

Around the same period, the first instances of gambling taxes emerged. Indian kings and officials enforced regulations within gambling houses to incentivise patrons to pay these taxes. In the 18th century, when British colonisers introduced cricket to India, it swiftly gained popularity, becoming one of the nation's most beloved sports. This cricket surge also fueled an interest in sports betting opportunities. 

The British authorities soon recognised the prevalence of gambling in India and endeavoured to exert control by enacting the Public Gambling Act in 1867. This legislation continues to serve as the overarching regulatory framework for gambling throughout India, although individual states retain the authority to establish their own laws on betting and gaming. 

The following is a timeline outlining the evolution of gambling legislation in India.

  • 1867: The Public Gambling Act is enacted.
  • 1947: India achieves independence from British rule.
  • 1976: The Goa, Daman, and Diu Public Gambling Act is passed.
  • 1992: Amendments to the Goa Gambling Act permit the inclusion of slot machines in five-star hotels.
  • 1996: Further amendments to the Goa Gambling Act allow for the operation of full casinos with table games in five-star establishments.
  • 1996: The Supreme Court Case R. K. Lakshmanan v. State of Tamil Nadu states that the horse race betting is a skill-based activity.
  • 1998: The Lotteries Regulation Act is passed in India.
  • 1999: The first Indian casino is established in Goa.
  • 2007: Goa expands the number of casino licenses and authorises the operation of riverboat casinos on the Mandovi River.
  • 2008: Sikkim enacts the Sikkim Gambling Act, authorising the establishment of casinos.
  • 2009: The first casino opens its doors in Sikkim.
  • 2010: Sikkim begins accepting applications for online gambling licenses.
  • 2016: The Nagaland Gambling Act is passed, allowing for online skill-based games, including poker.
  • 2017: Online gambling is prohibited in Telangana.
  • 2020: Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu prohibit online gambling activities.

What is the Public Gaming Act of 1867?

The Public Gaming Act of 1867 is the only law in the India about gambling. It is old and ill-equipped to face current gambling scenarios. For instance, it doesn’t mention anything about gambling in online casinos. 

Here are some of the key points related to gambling in the Public Gambling Act of 1867:

  • The Act defines a "common gaming house" as a place where gambling instruments like cards, dice, or tables are used.
  • Owning, keeping, or being in charge of a typical gaming house is an offence.
  • Being found in a typical gaming house is also considered an offence.
  • The police have the authority to search premises suspected of being a typical gaming house.
  • If gambling instruments are discovered on-premises, it is evidence that the place is a typical gaming house.
  • The gambling instruments will be destroyed when someone is convicted of operating a common gaming house.
  • A criminal conviction for gambling does not require proof of money being wagered.
  • Certain games, such as skill-based games or those played purely for social purposes, are exempt from the Public Gambling Act of 1867.

The Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999

The legality of online gambling in India is influenced by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), a federal law enacted in 1999. FEMA primarily focuses on international trade and currency exchange, with only specific provisions applicable to individual citizens and gambling activities. 

To address the aspect of online gambling that falls within the purview of legal regulations in India, we shall concentrate on a specific section of FEMA.

If you deposit funds into an online gambling account using a currency other than the Indian Rupee, it could be deemed an unlawful currency exchange. To ensure compliance with FEMA, online gambling platforms offer two alternatives for customers to enjoy their services. 

The first option entails accepting transactions in Indian Rupees. However, this acceptance does not mandate processing transactions exclusively in Rupees. 

To achieve this, online casinos and betting sites employ geolocation software to determine the user's location, thereby restricting transactions originating from India to be conducted solely in Rupees. 

While this approach is effective, it imposes additional responsibilities on both website operators and gamblers, thereby creating unnecessary complications.

Therefore, most online gambling websites opt for the second alternative, advising Indian players to utilise electronic wallet payments instead of credit or debit cards. This alternative serves as a pragmatic solution, circumventing potential violations of FEMA regulations while offering a convenient and compliant method for Indian gamblers to engage in online gambling.

The Information Technology Act of 2000

The final federal law pertaining to gambling in India is the Information Technology Act of 2000. This legislation possesses a broad scope, encompassing various forms of online activities. 

Notably, the Information Technology Act does not explicitly label online gambling as illegal or address gambling in its provisions. However, one provision empowers the Indian government to block foreign websites as deemed necessary. 

Consequently, the government can mandate internet service providers to restrict access to specific websites, a measure already implemented for certain online gambling platforms.

The reasoning behind selecting these particular sites for blocking remains unclear, as does the possibility of their future availability. Therefore, it is crucial to acknowledge this potential scenario while engaging in online gambling in India, particularly when utilising an unlicensed platform.

What are the Different Gambling Rules in Different States of India?

Legal Online Casinos India

Each Indian state has jurisdiction over gambling practices- online or offline! Therefore, in some states, betting is legal, while othrs altogether prohibit gambling. Below we have discussed the gambling laws in different Indian states in detail.

Disclaimer: “We are not lawyers or legal experts. Our team has researched and brought you this info. However, we encourage you to do further research before online gambling in India.”


In India's Chhattisgarh state, a newly enforced gambling law- 'Chhattisgarh Gambling Act, 2023'- now replaces its previous old and obsolete ‘Public Gambling Act of 1867’. Strict regulations under this law forbid any form of online and offline gaming by individuals residing in Chhattisgarh. 

Breaching these laws may lead to up to five years of jail time or require a fine of up to ₹10 lakhs, additionally with confiscating any money or property correlated to the felony. The law came into effect on March 23, 2023.


The ‘Assam Game and Betting Act of 1970’ or the ‘Assam online gaming law’ prohibits all types of betting, including online betting, but it does not explicitly address online gambling. 

Therefore, the law is unclear if you can legally play online casino games. We do not recommend breaking the law, but technically it's a loophole in the law that many exploit.

If you are looking to gamble online, you can check out some of the best online betting sites for secure gambling experience. 

Goa & Daman and Diu 

The Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976, allows casinos and games of chance in the state of ‘Goa’ & ‘Daman and Diu’. This law was made to promote tourism in these states in the late 90s when the number of tourists sharply declined. 

This law has provisions for electronic slot machines, offshore gaming, and the appointment of a Gaming Commissioner. The Goa Civil Court will not have any jurisdiction over matters related to this Act.

West Bengal 

The ‘West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competitions Act 1957’ aims to regulate gambling scenarios in West Bengal, India. This law prohibits games of chance, whether online or offline. However, residents of West Bengal can participate in lotterygames which should be fair and available for all participants. 


The ‘Meghalaya Regulation of Gambling Act of 2021’ regulates Meghalaya online gaming practices. The new law legalizes online and offline gambling. It also directs the law enforcers to close all illegal gambling houses and open new government-regulated casinos. 

Tamil Nadu 

‘Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance, 2022’ was introduced at first to block all forms of gambling in the state due to the rise in suicide rate due to losses from gambling. However, the ordinance was unsuccessful, so they turned it into a bill. Therefore, online gambling Tamil Nadu is illegal now. 


The ‘Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Amendments Act, 2009’ popularly known as ‘Sikkim Online Gaming Act’ made online gambling legal in the state. To operate in Sikkim, online casinos must obtain a gambling license from the state government.

These casinos also offer interesting bonuses for the players once they sign up. Check them out here


If you are wondering ‘is online gambling legal in Karnataka,’ then you will have to wait for the supreme court’s decision. Are you confused? Well, you are not alone! 

Karnataka banned online gambling with its ‘ Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act,’ but the High Court declared it unconstitutional. The case has been escalated to the Supreme Court for further consideration. Currently, the legality of gambling in Karnataka remains uncertain, pending the court's decision.

So, why don’t you download some exciting online casino betting apps and enjoy casino games while you wait for the court’s decision?


Online gambling in Nagaland is entirely prohibited by the ‘Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act, 2015.’ 

Similarly, the online gambling laws in Andhra Pradesh also ban all forms of gambling in the state, and there is even a fine of ₹ 10,000 for the rule breakers.

What Games to Play Online from India Legally?

Once you have understood India's online gaming landscape, you can start betting legally on your favourite online casino games. First, ensure you live in an Indian state that has legalised online gambling. 

Then check out the list of some of the top online casinos. Select one of them to sign up and visit the games section. You can play the following games at legalonline casinos in India.

Andar Bahar

Legal Online Casinos India

Andar Bahar is a fun card game where players place bets, eagerly awaiting whether the selected card will appear on the Andar (left) or Bahar (right) side. It's all about making the correct guess!

Teen Patti 

Teen Patti is an Indian card game millions of players love online. In this game, players make thrilling bets to secure the most valuable hand and outshine their opponents.


Rummy is an exciting collection of card games where players strive to create sets or sequences by drawing and discarding cards strategically.


Do you like spin wheel games? If yes, then you will like Roulette, where players place bets and eagerly await the spinning wheel, predicting which number or characteristics the winning pocket will possess.


Legal Online Casinos India

Blackjack is a card game that aims to get a hand total closer to 21 than the dealers without going over.


If you like fun family games, you can play poker at an Indian online casino. The game's ultimate goal is to have a better hand and force your opponents to fold. 


Slots is the most-played online casino game in the world. The reels start moving when you click the spin button in an online slot machine. You can win fantastic cash prizes depending on the combination you strike when the reels stop. 


Itis a simple game where you must guess whether the player's or banker's hand will have a higher total. To win the bet, you must ensure the sum is near 9.

If you love sports betting, check out some of our best cricket betting tips that can help you make right winning predictions. We also recommend best betting apps for quick cricket betting on the go!

Other Forms of Legal Gambling in India

Legal Online Casinos India

The federal and state gambling laws in India that have been previously discussed primarily concentrate on casino games, with a specific emphasis. However, it is essential to note that the definition outlined in the Public Gambling Act of 1867 also encompasses sports wagering within its purview. 

Within India's gambling laws, two significant exceptions exist. Firstly, horse racing is legally permitted nationwide, and numerous live racetracks exist throughout India. Individuals can place bets on these races, and on-site bookmakers are available to facilitate such wagers.

Additionally, off-track betting facilities are also accessible. The legality of betting on horse races in India is attributed to its classification as a game of skill. As per the Public Gambling Act of 1867 provisions, skill-based games are exempted from the definition of gambling.

Lotteries are another type of gambling that is considered legal in India. The Lotteries Regulation Act of 1998 grants each state the authority to permit lotteries if they wish to do so. 

Certain regulations are in place, such as restricting the frequency of draw games, allowing them to occur only once a week. In India, horse race betting and lotteries are the only two recognised forms of legal gambling. The Public Gambling Act governs all other casino games.

Overseas Gambling Sites for India

Using online gambling sites based in countries outside of India is a common concern for many people. Numerous online casinos and sports betting platforms accept wagers from Indian players and operate legally with licenses from other countries. 

It's important to note that federal gambling laws in India don't restrict overseas sites from operating or accepting Indian players. 

Legal Online Casinos India

However, players should be cautious when conducting financial transactions on foreign sites. Transactions should be in Indian Rupees or through electronic wallets to comply with India's Foreign Exchange laws. While anyone in India can access and use these sites, it's worth noting that three states have explicitly banned online gambling. 

While there is a possibility of facing criminal charges in these states, the focus of the government is primarily on prosecuting the operators rather than individual players. As long as one knows the potential risks and foreign currency laws, using overseas gambling sites should be possible without worry.

Final Thoughts

If you reside in India or intend to visit the country, it is crucial to understand how Indian gambling laws will impact your opportunities. Goa offers numerous options for land-based casinos, while Sikkim features two other casinos. 

If engaging in casino games is a significant part of your vacation plans, choosing either tourist destination is advisable. In cases where visiting a physical casino is not feasible, online gambling is a viable alternative. 

Opting for an overseas online casino or betting site is safer than interacting with illegal bookmakers. It is worth noting that certain states within India prohibit online gambling. 

If you find yourself in one of these states, it is essential to acknowledge the potential risks associated with using such websites. In such instances, seeking guidance from a legal professional may be prudent to ensure compliance and minimize any potential legal ramifications.


Q1.In which Indian states is online gambling legal?

You can legally play online casino games in the following Indian states - Meghalaya, Daman & Diu, Goa, Sikkim, and more. 

Q2.Is playing casino legal in India?

Yes, it is legal in India to play casino games online. However, it is legal in some states, like Goa, Meghalaya. Other states like Bihar, Tamil Nadu, and more have strictly prohibited online gambling.

Q3.Is bet365 legal in Telangana?

No, bet365 or any other online casino is illegal in Telangana as the state prohibits online or offline gambling. 

Q4.Who regulates online casinos in India?

There is no centralized gambling commission like in the UK and other European countries to regulate online casinos in India. The Indian states, however, have their own regulating body under the state government that regulates online gambling in their respective regions. 

Q5.Why casino is legal in Goa?

The reason casinos are legal in Goa is the ‘Goa, Daman, and Diu Public Gaming Act, 1976’, which legalises gambling on Goa land and water. This decision was made after a sharp decline in tourists in the late 90s.

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