Online Gambling

Internet Casinos Inc. was the first online casino to open its doors in 1995. They offer 18 different games. The industry has grown to over 1,400 websites. Most of these sites are located in small Caribbean islands. Online gambling generates more income than any other online business. Nearly 30% of the estimated 14.5 Million online gamblers come from Asia.

In minutes, a bet can be placed. Anyone can open an account for offshore currency with a gambling company. They can then place bets about sporting events such as Wimbledon or horse racing, Formula One, or even join a virtual gaming site to play poker, slot machines, blackjack, roulette and more. Betmart and Flutter allow you to place bets on any topic, including who will win the Nobel Prize or Madonna getting a divorce. Bets range in value from a nickel to thousands, and the amount that you win or loose is automatically added to an account. The balance can then be mailed or kept for future bets.

The socio-cultural context in India is crucial to understanding the law that governs online gambling. The policy makers in India do not encourage gambling, even though it is not completely prohibited. Indian organized gambling industries are estimated to be worth approximately US$8.3 billion. Although stringent laws have stopped the proliferation of high-street gambling centres and casinos in many countries, including India, the lottery business is still the most popular form.

While gambling is not illegal in any way, it is tightly controlled and regulated. Modern India is a quasi-federal Constitutional Democracy. Legislative power is distributed at both the state level and at the federal level. List II of India’s Constitution includes gambling. This means that each state has the authority to pass laws that regulate gambling. Therefore, there is no national gambling law. Different laws govern gambling in different states. These laws are not only applicable across the nation, but also vary between each state. Some states have banned lotteries. Other states allow lottery marketing and distribution in other lottery playing states.

Gambling Regulation

The courts define gambling as “the payment for a chance to win money.” The game’s essence will be determined by which element, skill or chance is dominant. If chance or luck is the predominant element in determining its outcome, a game can be deemed gambling. Indian courts have declared that betting on horse racing and card games is not gambling. Constitution of India does NOT protect the right of Indians to gamble or win lotteries. It might be noted, however, that lotteries administered by state governments make significant contributions to both the Union and several state governments’ state exchequers. There is therefore resistance to total prohibition.

Gambling is covered by the following laws:

Public Gaming Act, 1867

This Act provides penalties for public gambling, and the prohibition of keeping a ‘common casino house’. This Act gives the power to state governments to make laws to regulate gambling in their respective areas. Each state has amended its penal legislation to reflect their gambling policy. However, online gambling is not affected by this legislation unless it is extended to include virtual forum.

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