Online Gaming being an upcoming field currently does not have a specific legal framework to regulate their administration. Therefore, it is regulated separately by state legislation. The existence of varied State Legislations sometimes causes difficulty in categorizing and identifying as to which online games are games of skill or acts of gambling, thereby making them legal or illegal. A pertinent point to be mentioned here is that the involvement of stakes by itself does not make a game a gambling activity.
Below mentioned are certain kinds of online games in India and legality surrounding them:
- Gambling: However, gambling/ online gambling is prohibited in India except in the western State of Goa and union territory of Daman and Diu and north-eastern State of Sikkim.
- Fantasy sports games: Fantasy sports games are not illegal/ prohibited in India. Fantasy sports games are different from gambling in India as they are considered as games of skill. Subject to the state laws of the location of the business, the online fantasy sports games can be offered by a business through operation of a mobile application/ website
- Sports Betting: No, sports betting is not legal/ permitted in India.
- Online Poker: Playing online poker with stakes/ real money is legal/ permitted in most of the states of India. Unless specifically prohibited by the state government, online poker with stakes/ real money is not prohibited.
- Online Card Games: Unless specifically prohibited by the state government, playing online card games like Poker, Rummy etc. with stakes/ real money legal/ permitted in most states of India.
The following States strictly prohibit betting even though the skill may be involved:
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