Answering the Age Long Question: Is Online Betting Legal in India?

Betting in India has a deep and complicated history. Their legal status has been under the spotlight for many years. In fact, it has come to light that online betting sites are in a grey area in terms of legality. So, the question still remains in the minds of many: is betting legal in India? 

In this article, we try to answer this question, but first, we provide you with an in-depth overview of gambling and betting laws in India. This will cover the history of betting, its present status, and how it is perceived in the mind of the people. 

Is Betting Legal in India—More Importantly, Should it Be?

Is Betting Legal in India—More Importantly, Should it Be?

Indians are extremely passionate about many sports like cricket or football. We also share a history of gambling that is deeply ingrained in our culture with card games or board games. In fact, it even has its mention in Mahabharata with the game of pasha. 

In the modern age, the gambling scene has mostly shifted to the online platform. More and more adults are participating in betting activities online–40% of adult Indians to be precise. However, only a few of them are aware of legal betting apps in India. Since there is absolute law banning gambling activities in India, there is much confusion surrounding the legal status of betting activities. 

A Brief History of Betting Laws in India

A Brief History of Betting Laws in India

Is betting legal in India? This is still a big question for many. Betting on sports events came out later while other forms of betting have been prevalent in the country for many years. Sports like cricket, and football has bets placed on its outcome all the time. But the question: is cricket betting legal in India still confuses the citizens? The first law prohibiting any form of gambling was first introduced by the British Raj in 1867 as the Public Gambling Act. 

The Public Gambling Act states that all kinds of activities related to gambling or betting are prohibited. But this law has no clause against participating in online gambling activities. In the present day, every state is left to themselves to design laws regulating gambling within state boundaries. But regarding online betting India still does not have a centralized law. 

All these laws mainly prohibit games of chance as opposed to games of skills. For example, horse races or rummy, which are considered games of skill, are legalized in the country. But the rules regulating online gambling are still sketchy. 

The Question of Safety 

Since more and more people are placing bets online through cricket betting app or other digital sources, there is a big question about the safety of these online gambling activities. To date, there are no national laws explicitly prohibiting online betting but every state has the power to decide whether they want to legalize gambling or ban them within the state boundary. 

If you are worried about losing money on gambling the safest option for you is to bet on a game of skills as opposed to a game of chances. In the case of games of skills, you can learn about the game and improve your chances of winning. But in the latter no matter how much you learn about the game you are betting on, you still would not be able to predict the outcome of the bet. In fact, there are many cricket betting tips oline that help in improving your chances of betting on the winning team. 

Individual State’s Stance on Legalization of Betting


Individual State’s Stance on Legalization of Betting

As there is no country-wide law against online betting, the responsibility of regulating and monitoring all online activities fall on the shoulder of the state government. People who wish to participate in betting are unsure and still question: is cricket betting legal in India? Some states in India are actively making efforts to regulate gambling on online platforms. These include Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya. All of them have licensing regimes and online gaming laws in place to fight against online illegal activities. 

Soon other states followed. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana laid down a ban in 2020 on all forms of online gambling, especially ones using real money. In 2021, in order to battle gambling problems rising within the state, both states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu initiated a blanket ban on any form of online gambling. 

However, this ban spurred a lot of controversy as Karnataka High Court deems this ban unconstitutional. So, soon after its introduction the ban was lifted as it violated Article 14 of the Constitution. So, to date, online betting is legal in India. A similar fate was faced by the ban in Tamil Nadu. Other states also tried to put a complete ban on all online gaming activities (like Kerala) but they are yet to come up with a prohibition or law that does not violate the constitution. 

Are There Any Sites For Betting Which are Legal in India?

Since the legality of betting is still in a dubious state, there is a lot of misinformation floating around. People who want to place bets online are unaware of betting sites in India that are safe and which are still considered illegal within the country. This is why we have come up with a list of safe cricket betting apps legal in India. Along with that, we also give you a list of sites that you need to avoid. 

Legal Betting Sites Illegal Betting Sites
1xBet William Hill
10CRIC Paddy Power
bet365 Ladbrokes
Betway bwin
Dafabet BetVictor
Fun88 Betfred
Marathonbet Betfair

What the Future Holds For Legal Betting Apps in India

The betting scenario in India still remains in the dark as there are no overall laws and regulations, and many states lack concrete measures to ensure the citizen’s safety online. However, the situation may change in the future as there are indications of active control by the central government. As is evident by all the cricket betting apps legal in India.

With a considerable push from the youth of India, the central government may be encouraged to establish a regulatory board that oversees all decisions regarding online gambling. It is the need of the hour because as of now, online betting is legal in India but there are no policies that control it so that people are not exploited or to ensure the citizen’s safety. 

Many Indian states are going in the right direction by establishing regulations for safe, legal online betting. If all states are to follow, then the future looks really hopeful for the patrons of online betting. Well, in traditional times, people used to perform wagering through Satka Matka, which is quite popular in many parts of India. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is betting now legal in India?

Yes, online betting is permissible according to the legal framework of India. Bet in exchange is also legal. But a word to the wise, some states have made it illegal to even indulge in online betting like Tamil Nadu. Since the constitution of India leaves the responsibility of dealing with gambling or betting in the hands of the state, the rules regarding this vary with each state. However, overall the status for betting is still to be legal. 

Q2. Are betting sites banned in India?

Regarding online betting in India, the legality is still in question. Although there are no central laws prohibiting online betting sites, the safest betting sites are all operated from outside India. These betting sites still accept Indians as players but you will not easily find an Indian betting site based within the country. 

Among the long list of foreign betting sites, some are indeed banned within the country. The most trusted betting site which is still legal in India is 10CRIC, bet365, and Betway. 

Q3. Whether the winnings from online Betting or Gambling is taxed?

Under the section of “Income from Other Sources,” any winnings earned from gambling are taxed at the flat rate of 30% + 4% cess. In fact, for income from betting or gambling, there is no minimum exemption limit (which is usually Rs. 2.5 lakhs in other cases). This is also true for winning from legal betting apps in India.

Final Thoughts

In India, betting on sporting activities is extremely popular since ancient times. However, since it was made illegal during the British Raj, the fate of legal gambling has been hanging in the middle. Several states have taken active steps to control betting and make it safe for all whereas some states have gone in the other direction and initiated a complete ban on all online betting. On a pan-country scale, the question still remains: is betting legal in India? The simple answer is yes unless you are using online betting apps which are operated outside the country. 

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