In order to decide the legality of a game involving stakes whether or not involving sports, the Indian judiciary has primarily based its arguments on whether the game is a game of skill or game of chance. Further, in order to decide the said issue, the judiciary has placed reliance on the “dominant factor test” followed by the courts of U.S.A. which seeks to determine whether “chance” or skill is the dominating factor.
Foreign investment and foreign technology collaboration in any form are completely prohibited in the gambling and betting sector.
View of Law Commission of India on sports betting
The Law Commission is yet to provide its recommendations on the subject of sports betting in India yet. It is considering the question as to whether to consider sports betting to be a game of skill. However, a report in this regard is expected to be released shortly.
Online sports betting
The State governments are empowered to make laws on the subject of betting activities as per the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India (Entries 34 and 62 of List II). Where a specific State legislation on gambling/ betting does not exist, the Public Gambling Act, 1867 is applicable which prohibits gambling and betting activities however, does not include “games of skill” in its ambit.
As per the Sikkim On-line Gaming (Regulation) Amendment Rules, 2009, online sports betting was made legal in the State of Sikkim, however, certain permissions are required for offering the same.
In order to offer online sports betting, a gambling license is required to be obtained from the Government of Sikkim under the provisions of the Sikkim State laws.
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