Everything You Need to Know About Online Gambling: Laws, Online Casino Games, Sports Betting and More
Are you a sports betting enthusiast? Are you interested in online casino games? Everything you need to know about game variety, sports bets and any Indian gambling laws tied to them can be found in this fully comprehensive online casino starter pack.
Lucky for you, we’re industry experts, and we’re more than happy to show you the ropes especially if you’re still new to the casino sphere. Without any further ado, let’s get right to it.
What is an Online Casino?
Before we delve into the ins and outs of online gambling and the real money games you can place your bets on, we thought we’ll start this off by asking you a very simple question: What is an online casino? Let’s back-track a little first.
Gambling enthusiasts are most certainly familiar with luxurious land-based venues such as the ones in Las Vegas, London, Monte-Carlo and Macau. Even if you’ve never paid a visit, you must have got a glimpse of them on travel adverts and even some of the best blockbuster films of our time.
In short, you know what to expect; numerous slot machines lined up one after the other, roulette/blackjack/poker tables and dealers managing the gambling area. You know the drill.
So, how does an online casino come into all of this? The early 90s saw the rise of the very first online casino games when Micrograming first launched the software in 1994. Of course, this is extremely significant to the history of gaming, especially since it marked a new era of modern gambling.
Land-Based vs Online Casinos
Thus, an online casino is exactly what you expect it to be. It still offers the same games you expect to find at a land-based casino – roulette, blackjack, slots, poker, bingo and so on. It also goes without saying that you can ACTUALLY win real money too. That said, there are a few minor differences that somewhat make online casinos the go-to option nowadays.
First off, nothing beats the convenience factor. You can just switch on your desktop or mobile device and instantly, you can start playing your favourite real money games. We’re not saying that land-based casinos are a thing of the past, but if for some reason or another you can’t go to a casino venue, it helps to have a brilliant version online that mirrors the whole concept.
Best of all, most modern online casino games are equipped with an array of features that make things infinitely more exciting for the player. To name a few, you can win free spins and other special prizes, access gambling mini-games, and also win bigger jackpots.
On top of that, Indian casinos allow you to get your hands on a myriad of bonuses. Some of these include a welcome bonus, reload bonus, refer to friend bonus and even a loyalty bonus. Although online casino providers do this to attract more players to the platform, it’s great that they give something back to the player.
Not into casino games? No problem. Some Indian casinos have a dedicated sports section. In the upcoming sections, we’ll be focusing on other aspects that are relevant to casinos in India, as well as online betting sites. So, if you’re interested in cricket betting or any other sports for that matter, you’re free to do so too!
All in all, we think online casinos are great. They’re efficient, easy to use and most importantly, you are guaranteed a whole lotta wins and thrills from start to finish.
Gambling Legislation: Access in India
Onto India’s complicated gambling laws. We understand you’re probably more interested in actually playing your favourite real money games, we feel it’s important that you get some insights into what’s legal and what’s not in India.
Seeing as this isn’t part of our guide isn’t exactly classed as light reading, we have to give you some context as to why gambling at casinos in India isn’t always that simple.
The Public Gambling Act, 1867
Part of the problem lies in the publication of the Public Gambling Act, 1867. In short, this is a 145-year-old legislative document that was created during the reign of the British Empire. As one can assume, its contents are outdated and incredibly archaic. We would need to create another post or two to cover all that was stated in the document, so we’re just going to summarise what you need to know.
In short, the operation of Indian casino, the assisting of gambling venues, the visiting of gambling venues, financial gambling, along with device and other items connected to gambling are considered to be a felony. In fact, you can be fined ₹200, or you can even face up to 3 months in prison if you are caught doing any of the gambling activities mentioned above.
On top of that, we also have to discuss the following statement: “Nothing in this Act shall apply to games of mere skill wherever played. ”
This leads us to the discussion of how gambling should be classed. Are casino games considered to be games of skill or games of chance? Check out what we have to say in the upcoming section.
Games of Skill Vs Games of Chance
So far, we’ve established that the Public Gambling Act, 1867 divides gambling into two distinct categories – Games of Skill and Games of Chance. But what’s the main difference between the two?
Games of Skill don’t seem to be much of an issue since those interested are placing bets on the person’s skills and abilities (E.g. Sports Betting events – cricket, horse racing, football). The issues rise in the case of Games of Chance. Given the fact that they are RNG-operated (Random Number Generator), gamblers are betting on potential numbers or items – in other words, the winning result.
The situation is so confusing to the point that the Indian government cannot decide whether games like poker and rummy can be classed as Games of Skill or Games of Chance. As most seasoned players would agree, we think such games require an amount of skill. While the luck factor does play an important role as the game can go either way, you need to know the game well to be able to win.
As you can imagine, gambling has indeed been the cause of a number of debacles. On the one hand, we’ve got multiple players who are interested in playing legally. On the other hand, the people in charge aren’t on board with the situation due to the fact that there a sheer amount of unregulated gambling going on.
As far as land-based gambling is concerned, it all boils down to where you’re based. Given the country’s strict gambling laws, it’s permitted in most parts of the country, however there is an upside here.
If you want to visit a casino venue, you can do so in Goa, Sikkim and the union territory of Damn and Diu. Considering the fact that some players still enjoy the land-based experience, it would be great if land-based gambling gets the green light in more states in the near future.
Gambling in online casinos in India continues to be a one of the most controversial topics in the country. Considering the fact that the Public Gaming Act of 1867 is a 145-year-old document, internet and technology didn’t exist at the time. Thus, this is a problem when it comes to the legalities of online casino gambling.
Truthfully, it’s a bit of a grey area. One can argue that betting sites are illegal under the gambling laws outlined in the 1867 document, but with that same reasoning, they can also be considered legal. On top of that, there’s also another act that lays out the law for gaming and web-based betting – The Information Technology Act 2000. In its entirety, it outlines a number of arrangements for any offences that relate to online casino gambling.
Here’s where the problem lies – as seen in the Public Gaming Act of 1867, online gambling isn’t mentioned separately. This means that the Act allows the government to check out betting sites if need be. Bearing this in mind, service providers were required to keep Indian players away from such activities which were deemed illegal by blocking betting sites.
As you can tell, there’s still a long way to go before India is fully on board with the online casino situation. If we look at some examples, online gambling is completely prohibited in states like Maharashtra. Although the rules are still restrictive, the situation in Sikkim is slightly better. In this case, state lawmakers have allowed public authorities to allow agencies and operators to provide online gambling services under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008.
On top of that, Sikkim also planned to offer 3 online gambling licences, but eventually, they fell through. At the time of writing, residents from Sikkim are allowed to take part in online lotteries. There’s still a lot of work to be done to fully legalise online gambling, but since the interest is there, perhaps this is a start.
All things considered, Indian players don’t have it that bad. In fact, you can bet online in India when you sign up to an offshore casino. That said, you still have to abide by some rules and regulations before you do so:
- All offshore casinos in India need to have a valid licence from a gaming body
- The legal age is at least 18 years old (Depending on the T&Cs set by your online casino provider)
- All online casino and online betting sites have to be Rupee-friendly
Are Indian Players Allowed to Place Bets On Cricket And Other Sports?
As opposed to everything else related to online casino gambling in India, there is some leniency when it comes to online betting.
For starters, horse racing gets the green light from the state level. In fact, a variety of racecourse are available throughout India and meetings are held on a regular basis. On top of that, bookmakers are legally allowed to offer their services at racecourses whilst tote providers offer pool betting. It’s also interesting to note that bets on horse races can be placed off course at many betting parlours.
In particular, cricket betting is also very popular amongst Indian sports bettors. Just in case you’re wondering – yes, it is also legal to place bets at offshore online betting sites. In fact, you can participate and place bets on a number of cricket matches, particular the Indian Premiere League.
If you don’t like either of the aforementioned sports events, rest assured there’s something for everyone. Most offshore bookmakers offer a variety of mixed events that players from all over the world can place their bets on. Some of these include events related to football, rugby, table tennis, badminton, ice hockey etc. If you’re interested in placing bets on large-scale events, you also have options. To name a few as the English Premiere League, the FIFA World Cup, the Super Bowl, the Six Nations and many others.
Seeing as there are numerous online sports books out there, you can get a better idea of the odds at stake. In fact, most of them offer an array of bets to choose from including pre-match bets, live bets and other special ones. In this way, you’ll be able to see what works for you and if you are getting your money’s worth.
Which States Allow Lotteries in India?
Alongside sports betting, India is also quite lenient on lotteries. This doesn’t really make sense because they are the very definition of games of chance where no skill is required! Nevertheless, the Lotteries Act that was passed in 1998, seemed to have no issue with them.
It’s also important to note that although the Act was approved at federal level, the state lawmakers are still responsible to allow lotteries. On top of that, the Act also stated that only one lottery per week can be held. Once again, things are slightly contradictory here as lawmakers don’t really impose this rule as much as some of the others.
At the time of writing you’ll be happy to know that 13 Indian states have legalised land-based and online lotteries, including Sikkim, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Punjab.
You are also spoiled for choice when it comes to deciding on the lotteries you want to participate in. To name a few, the ones that stand out most include Powerball, Quick Pick, Euro Millions, Mega Sena and others.
What Casino Games can you Play for Real Money?
We’ve rambled on enough about gambling laws – it’s time to discuss the real money games you can place your bets on. Sit tight – you’re in for a wild ride!
Slots, slots, slots! Without a doubt, they have proved to the world that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Although they come in their hundreds and thousands, you best believe the variety is impeccable!
The objective is simple – land 3 or more symbols on the reels (or as required) and wait for the reels to reveal the winning combination. If it’s a match, you’ve won! What’s also great about slots is that they evolved though the years. Nowadays, they are jam-packed with additional features including free spins, wilds, scatters, special symbols, jackpots and even gambling mini-games that can yield more lucrative prizes.
Although slots may seem quite repetitive to some, you’ve got to hand it to gaming giants such as NetEnt, Quickspin, Microgaming and Playtech, who are doing such a fantastic job in the design. Rest assured you’ll never be bored if you find the right slots that come with a great story line and fantastic prizes.
Not sure where to start? Check out the following titles: Starburst, Immortal Romance, Jumanji, Book of Dead, Game of Thrones 243 Ways, Bloodsuckers, Mega Joker, Mega Moolah etc.
It’s time to play your cards right like Bond. Time and time again, table games have proved that they are well and truly here to stay. Although they require you to have extensive knowledge of the game and a game strategy, it’s nothing you can handle. You can even play for free until you get the hang of things.
You’ll be delighted to know that a plethora of table games are on offer at most casinos in india. Some of the most popular titles include multiple variants of Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, Teen Patti and many others. This allows players to choose between traditional versions of the game in question and more thrilling ones.
To name a few, most online casino platforms are likely to offer the following variants: European Roulette, American Roulette, Classic Blackjack, Video Poker, 3D Roulette, Speed Blackjack, Multi-Deck Blackjack, Double Ball Roulette, Texas Hold’Em etc.
Live Dealer Casino
Nothing compares to the thrills live casino has to offer. Think of it this way – it’s the next best thing if you can’t make it to Vegas just yet.
Live casino takes things to another level. Although there is nothing wrong with traditional table games, the live experience offers more thrills since you are playing in real-time. Your gaming experience is streamed from casino studios or venues around the globe, whilst the live dealer ensures that you’re having a great time. What’s not to like?
And that’s not all! Live casino allows you to enjoy a more personal experience. Besides choosing your very own casino room, you can also choose either a mainstream table or a VIP one if you’re feeling like an A-Lister!
What’s also very interesting about live casino is the game variety. Whilst you’ll still come across popular titles such as Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, Live Video Poker and so on, there are also titles for those of you who aren’t really into table games. Some of these include Evolution Gaming’s very own Monopoly Live, Deal or No Deal and Dream Catcher.
We understand that strategic games like roulette and blackjack aren’t for everyone. Some Indian players prefer less complicated real money games and that’s completely fine too. Scratch cards certainly need no introduction. Besides them being one of the easiest casino games to bet on, there’s a lot of variety out there! All you have to do is match 3 or more symbols (or as required) and just like that you’ve won the jackpot!
Who doesn’t love a classic like bingo? Like scratch cards, this is also a great alternative for those of you who are interested in real money games that don’t require you to have any prior knowledge or skills.
If you’re familiar with land-based bingo, online bingo follows the same rules. You also get to play popular variants such as 30-ball bingo, 75-ball bingo, 80-ball bingo and 90-ball online bingo. With us so far? Great.
The only difference is in the way you purchase tickets. Obviously, you don’t need any physical tickets if you’re playing online bingo. You simply have to sign in to your online casino account, purchase as many as you need, and you’re good to go. As far as marking goes, it’s all computer-generated by your online casino provider.
How to Find the Best Bookmakers and Casino Sites in India
To be able to enjoy the casino experience you deserve, you need to find a reputable provider. As explained previously, the offshore casino in question needs to be licensed by a gaming body. This is in your interest to prevent any illicit or fraudulent activities from occurring. Most importantly, you can take comfort in the fact that you will not get scammed.
Next, you also have to make sure that your online casino provider is Rupee-Friendly. You’ll find a number of casinos accept payment methods such as VISA, Mastercard, Neteller, Skrill, Trustly, PayPal and others that allow you to use Rupees.
Other than that, you just need to find an online casino provider that works for you in terms of what you’re looking for. Be it the accessibility factor, the games, bonuses, prizes, customer service, fair wagering requirements etc. We’ve compiled a checklist that will help you narrow down the search:
- A Valid Licence
- Game Variety
- Generous Selection of Bonuses and Promotions
- Fair Terms and Conditions
- Decent Wagering Requirements and Fair Time Limits
- A Casino that Accepts Indian Players who Play with Rupees
- A Wide Selection of Payment Methods (E.g. Neteller, VISA, Mastercard, PayPal)
- 100% Mobile-Friendly
- Stellar Customer Support & Live Chat
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