The majority of online casinos accepting gambling and betting in Indian currencies are offshore-hosted and owned by foreign companies. Only a handful of domestic companies are into online gambling and betting in India. Does that mean Indian companies are incapable of designing and developing online casinos? After all, gambling and betting activities are very popular with Indians, and lakhs of Indians play mobile casinos for real money.
In a time of ‘atmanirvar bharat‘, isn’t it unfortunate that we still depend on foreign companies for our everyday gaming adventures?
Why are Indian companies the best suited for the online casino business?
- Software superpower: no shortage of skilled human resources as the country is a superpower in Information Technology.
- Traditional gaming knowledge: the rich pool of conventional gambling and betting knowledge for designing engaging gameplay experience.
- High-speed internet penetration: even tier II & III cities have 4G data connections, let alone the major cities.
- Strong domestic demand – Indians are traditionally inclined to gambling and betting.
Where are the Indian companies lagging in the online casino business?
Though gambling and betting are a significant part of Indian popular culture, laws regulating these activities are highly ambiguous. The majority of these laws were formulated decades ago in India and have not been updated regularly since. For example,
- The Public Gambling Act of 1867 – forbids any gambling and betting activities in public places and the use of animals, birds, or any other gambling instruments. The law has not been revised to accommodate new technologies like online gaming and casinos.
- The Prize Competition Act of 1955 – It regulates any game that offers a cash prize of INR 1000/- and more in a month. It might be unbelievable, but playing slots online for real money can be restricted using this law.
A few of the Indian states have revised state-specific regulatory structures with progressive laws regarding gambling and betting. The states with high to moderate legal acceptability towards gaming are,
- Goa – The state revised The Goa Gaming Act 1976 and accommodated all types of online gambling betting activities. It is the most casino-friendly state in India.
- Daman – It hosts the highest number of traditional casinos.
- Sikkim – The state allows online casino gaming and sports betting.
- West Bengal – The state allows all types of online gambling and betting, except poker.
- Nagaland – It is one of the most gambling & betting-friendly states in India.
- Maharashtra – It is moderately friendly to online casinos and slowly evolving.
- Tamil Nadu – The state allows betting on animal racing.
The rest of the Indian states prohibit any form of gambling and betting; legal structures are not conducive to the growth of domestic online gambling and the betting industry. As a result, online casino games are not freely available in India.
What are we losing as a country?
The archaic legal structure is stopping domestic companies from getting into the online casino business and harming domestic players and the economy equally.
- Offshore hosted casinos – Online casinos store data in offshore servers. They are outside the legal jurisdiction of Indian courts. So, Indian players have no legal protection in case of any mishap.
- Loss of tax revenue – As the Indian government does not recognize these online casino sites and apps, the country loses the chance to earn significant tax revenue on these transactions.
- Drainage of foreign currencies – The money deposited with foreign-owned online casinos goes outside the country, causing depletion in foreign exchange reserves.
- Foreign dependency – Online gambling for gamers in India is fast becoming popular. The lack of online casinos owned by domestic companies creates unnecessary dependencies on for
It is a matter of great relief that Indian law-makers are, slowly and steadily, waking up to the need to revise gambling and betting laws. It will encourage the domestic casino industry’s growth; Indian casino lovers will enjoy better legal protection and data security, and the economy will benefit from the development of new employment opportunities and tax collection. As a prominent stakeholder of the domestic casino industry in India, www.LuckyRaja.com strongly believes that more and more domestic online casinos and betting sites will emerge in near future.