What’s the legal status of gambling regulations in India in 2021?

ByBrand Post
Jun 14, 2021 05:19 PM IST

Gambling is one of the most pleasurable pastime games in India. Most gambling games require you to risk money to get desired results.

Nowadays, Indian people are more than just immersed in technology and its high-tech devices. They play online Casinos in India at a cheaper price in comparison to a physical casino setup. Thanks to the internet!

Is gambling considered a game of chance or a game of skill in India?
Is gambling considered a game of chance or a game of skill in India?

Many Indians have become dependent on gambling games due to the country’s escalating pandemic conditions. They have started looking forward to gambling prize money to fulfill their social as well as financial needs. Such practices have led to an increase in money laundering and black money sources in India.

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Betting and gambling can be found in part II of the State list. They have been mentioned in detail in the seventh schedule of the Indian Constitution. In other words, this simply means that the state government can exercise full control over betting and gambling practices in their state. They can also formulate their state-specific laws. A good example of this is the choice given to most states for the adoption of the Public Gambling Act, 1976.

Is gambling considered a game of chance or a game of skill in India?

India mainly puts the games into two broad categories to differentiate them. The two categories are that game is either a Game of Chance or a Game of Skill.

  • Game of chance: Game of chance are all those games that are played randomly. These games are based on luck. A person can play these games without prior knowledge or understanding. For instance, dice games, picking a number, etc. Such games are considered illegal in India.
  • Game of skill: Game of skill are all those games that are played based on a person’s prior knowledge or experience of the game. A person will require skills such as analytical decision-making, logical thinking, capability, etc. Some games might also require some initial training to win. Such games are considered legal by most of the Indian states.

Also, if a gambling game requires a certain amount of skills, then it might not be considered illegal at all. However, a lot of bias revolves around such gambling games.

What is the legal position of gambling in India right now?

  • Horse racing and lotteries are legal in India. Horse racing involves some prior skills so it isn’t all about gambling
  • Several Indian states have legalized lotteries. These are Goa, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Punjab, Nagaland, West Bengal, and Sikkim
  • Online gambling and land-based casinos are legalized in Goa, Sikkim, Nagaland, and Daman under the Public Gambling Act, 1976
  • Maharashtra has prohibited gambling and considers gambling as illegal under the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887
  • E-gaming (games of chance) has been legalized in Sikkim and Nagaland
  • Telangana and Arunachal Pradesh consider the game of skill as illegal as per the Telangana State Gaming Act, 1974
  • All India Gaming Federation, The Rummy Federation, and Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports have adopted a self-regulation code for all their advertisements.


The legal status of gambling in India in 2021 requires revamping various gambling laws that are more uniform. The government needs to step up its game by installing a proper legal framework on the subject.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within the content are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, policy or position of Hindustan Times.

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