Online Casinos in India
If there is a rival to China on the global stage, it is India. India has the second-highest population in the world, at over 1.3 billion. In the past few decades, Indian economy has been slowly developing, and the economic divide has been decreasing. There are more middle-class Indians today than at any other time in history.
Online casinos are a hobby that require, more than anything else, a disposable income. The growing Indian middle class has this in plenty, and there are also many high rollers and multi-millionaires in India who would also be interested. Thus, India is one of the biggest potential markets for online casinos.
The best Indian Online Casinos
While there are no legal online casinos based in India, there are many casinos outside the country that are a great option for Indians gamblers. Some of these casinos include Voodoo Dreams, Royal Panda, Spin Palace, PlatinumPlay, 888 Casino.
First on our list is Voodoo Dreams. They have one of the best welcome bonuses, offering you 200 free spins and a 300% bonus up to 1000 euros as a welcome offer. Almost all other online casinos only offer 100% bonus up, so with Voodoo Dreams, you will hit your cap of bonus money three times as fast.
In addition to the above casinos, there are many other online casinos offering great opportunities for Indian players. These casinos are powered by some of the best-known online casino software providers in the world, such as Microgaming, NetEnt, BetSoft, Realtime Gaming, Playtech, etc. Each of these developers have decades of experience, which they are now putting to good use by attracting the Indian market.
What about Indian Laws against Gambling?
Compared to China, Indian laws are relatively lax and allow for online casino gambling to take place. However, keep in mind that India is a federal state like the United States. So, a lot of decisions are not taken by the central government, but by the state governments of each of the 29 states. One state might allow casinos, while another won’t.
If you are in India, try to be aware of your own state’s laws on this topic. The three main states that allow Casino gaming with no caveats are Goa, Sikkim and Daman. These states are extremely popular for tourists from abroad, so some casinos and resorts have been established to cater for them. Goa, in particular, even has casino resorts on riverboats.
However, in the rest of the 24 states, Casinos are mostly illegal. Some laws go back nearly 200 years, banning public gaming houses. As casinos call under those, they are banned. However, the law banning public gaming houses only bans those operations that involve games of luck. By Indian law, any games of skill cannot be banned.
Now, many casino games are equal parts skill and equal parts luck. Slots and Roulette games are obviously extremely luck-based, but games like Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat, etc have a significant skill factor. So, if those card games can be proven before a court to be games of skill rather than luck, India would allow them.
Rummy is an Indian card game that is fairly dependent on the player’s skill. It is also a popular gambling game. Recently, the Indian supreme court passed a ruling that Rummy is indeed a game of skill, and therefore does not fall under a ban on gambling. “Rummy houses” do not count as “Public Gaming Houses”. This ruling does not only apply to physical “Rummy houses”, but also various online websites where Rummy players met and interacted with each other.
If a similar action could be carried out for Poker or Baccarat, it would become possible to set up proper casinos anywhere in India.
Online Gambling in India
India does not have an ancient history of gambling like China or Europe. Gambling certainly existed, but it was never too prominent.
Unlike physical casinos, there are no distinct and clear laws regarding online casinos in India. Online gambling is simply prohibited in the original Information Technology Act of 2000, a set of laws many of which are out of date by now considering how fast the internet has developed.
As mentioned earlier, the supreme court of India declared that online rummy clubs are legal. Since these rummy clubs are run in a manner very similar to an actual online casino, other online casinos could get legalized in the same way.
Until a more concrete set of laws, rules or regulations are established, Indian players are free to visit any online casino website they like. The Indian government does not fully approve of online casinos, but not have they fully banned them. Overall, it’s a gray market.
Since it’s a gray market, players should be careful when visiting the various Indian online casinos. These online casinos have not been approved or tested, so there is no guarantee they are trustworthy or reliable. They may not be either and instead steal your winnings or your personal information. Therefore, players need to be aware of that before they pick a specific online casino in India. Checking the reputation of the casino you picked is always a good idea.
This may change soon, however. Some states, such as Sikkim, are looking to offer fully-fledged licenses for online casino games. If these states succeed in offering a proper casino license, then online casinos will be fully established in India!
In the case of lotteries, many of them are already legal and are offered both online and physically. They include Jaldi 5 and the Playwin Lottery. Despite being completely based off luck, Lotteries are not actually considered proper games of chance like card or table games and so can be freely played in India.
One only has to look at the numbers. There are more than 1.2 billion people in India. That’s a billion potential customers. Compared to China or the Middle-East, India is a relatively secular and democratic state. The Indian government will not ban gambling outright, and there are no religious prohibitions preventing casinos from appearing here.
In fact, the only thing that seems to be preventing most casino games from being accepted is the proof that they are games of skill, not luck. Since Rummy was declared to be a game of skill, we can hope that other card games receive the same judgment.
There is a very real chance that the gambling industry could establish itself in India. There are already a good number of physical casinos in India, and some Indian states are now trying to license and legalize online casinos. From there, it’s only a short step to making casinos legal on a national level so long as they follow regulations and are licensed.