Land based casinos may only be legal in three Indian states, Goa , Daman and Sikkim, but this does not stop hundreds of thousands of local and international players enjoying them each year. Millions of people in the country are also choosing to play casino games online, rather than travel to a land based casino.
This is an important boost to the economic landscape in the country as the casino industry grows and creates jobs for more individuals. The jobs that the industry creates include management roles, waitressing positions and security personnel. Online play also creates financial benefits in states where online casinos are regulated. However, much of the estimated US$60 billion per year that is made through casino play and betting in India is not made through regulated play. This means that States and the national government could be missing out on a potentially lucrative revenue source.
The current position regarding casinos in India
In certain states like Goa , Daman and Sikkim gambling is regulated, so players can enjoy the games they love in several land based casinos as well as online. However, throughout the rest of the country, land based casinos are illegal.
The situation regarding online gambling is different. Although online gambling in India is not technically legal in India right now, there is nothing written down in law to make it illegal. There is no regulation in place. This means that players use offshore casino sites to play games that are rated highly. They regularly enjoy playing games including blackjack and roulette as well as online slots.
The reason why the situation regarding online gambling is such a grey area is that the only legislation which directly relates to gambling in the country is the Public Gaming Act of 1867. This act made it illegal to open or visit a venue for the purposes of gambling. Of course, this act was implemented well before online gambling was invented, so there is no mention of it.
The other act which could potentially have an effect on online casino play is The Information Technology Act of 2000. This is the act which is used to regulate online activity. It does not specifically mention online gambling but it does give the Indian government the ability to potentially block access to foreign websites. This does not seem to have had a significant impact on online casino play in the country up to this point.
The future of casinos in India
The legal situation regarding online casino play in India is somewhat uncertain at present and the government is being slow in getting around to dealing with the issue. There has been much discussion about the subject across the country but the only state to actually outlaw online gambling at present is Maharashtra.
It seems that the number of people in India playing at a casino for the first time is likely to continue to increase. At present, it does not seem as though the government has an appetite to prevent an activity that is such a big part of life for many people.