Online gambling in India used to be a tricky subject, but things have changed since the early days. There is enough information available in 2022 to properly answer most questions related to online gambling and betting in India. Let’s get started with them next.
Is Online Gambling Legal in India?
Unless an activity is deemed as being legal under the national/state laws, it cannot be considered safe. Therefore, in order for online gambling to even be considered as an option by Indians, the activity itself has to be legal first. As things stand in 2022, the following facts should answer all the questions you may have about the legality of gambling and betting in India.
- Physical casinos are illegal in most Indian states, barring Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya
- Whether online gambling is legal in an Indian state is determined by the state’s own laws
- Online gambling is not illegal in most Indian states, except in a few conservative states such as Telangana and Maharashtra
- Unless an Indian state has specified online gambling as an illegal act, most forms of online gambling and sports betting can be considered legal activities in that state.
Technically, a resident of Telangana or Maharashtra should still be able to play at an online casino, if they are not present in any of the two states while playing. However, withdrawal could become problematic for the player if their bank is located in any of those two states. Due to the state governments’ strict approach, the risk may not be worth it for any permanent residents of these two states.
Is it Safe to Play at Online Casinos in India?
The answer to this question is highly variable as all online casinos accessible to Indians are not necessarily safe to play in. There are more scam casinos on the internet than there are genuine gambling sites. Fortunately for players, there are ways to tell the difference. In fact, determining the safety of an online casino site in India involves taking pretty much the same steps as in any other country.
For example, if it is a safe and secured online casino India based, which players can trust with assurance, then the establishment must be capable of verifying that they are indeed licensed, registered, and regulated by trusted international or national gambling authorities such as the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Malta gaming Authority (MGA) or the Gibraltar Gambling Commission (GGC) among others.
Which are Some of the Most Popular Indian Casino Games?
Most Indian casinos have traditional western casino games (blackjack, poker, roulette, etc.), but teen patti (3-Cards) and rummy are the two most popular gambling games in India. Both are card games with teen patti being particularly popular on live casino feeds. Next, we have andar bahar (in or out), which is also a card game, but unlike rummy or teen patti, andar bahar is a game of chance.
Keep in mind that as far as slots are concerned, they are just as popular in India as they are anywhere else. The appeal to hit jackpots on the rotating reels is universal and transcends cultural differences.
What about Foreign Remittance Charges and Taxes?
It is not illegal for an Indian to play in an internationally recognized online casino from an Indian state where online gambling is not illegal. However, if your winnings are paid out in foreign currency, they will be subject to foreign remittance charges and applicable taxes, post withdrawal to an Indian bank account. You will find all necessary information regarding how to report and calculate your foreign remittance charges on the government page here.
If the casino site is located in India or if it is registered with the concerned Indian gambling commission, chances are that your winnings will be paid out in INR. In such instances, foreign remittance charges will not be applicable. It will still need to be reported as income and depending on the state laws, additional taxes might be levied on your gambling profits.
Can Foreigners Safely Play in Indian Online Casinos?
If online gambling is not illegal in the foreigner’s own country or state, then they can play in properly licensed and regulated Indian online casinos without any worries whatsoever. Technically, this is applicable even if they are in India or any other nation at that time, but using a VPN, which puts their IP address at their home location, is advisable to avoid unnecessary complications. This will let them play in online casinos that are legal in their own home location, as many of those will be barred from accessing from a foreign location.
By now, you should have a pretty good idea regarding whether online casinos are safe to explore in India. The right answer depends on your current state of residence and the casino site itself, more than on any other factor. There are no federal laws in India (as of early 2022) which deem online gambling to be illegal.