Bets can be placed in minutes. Anyone with a credit card can set up an offshore currency account with a gambling site, so they are free to place bets on sports such as Wimbledon, cricket, horse racing and Formula One, or join a virtual casino to play slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker , etc. Companies like Flutter and Betmart accept bets on anything from who is likely to win the Nobel Prize to whether or not Madonna is in a divorce. Bets can range from one nickel to thousands and according to whether you win or lose the total amount is automatically adjusted to your account. The final balance can then be mailed to you or left for future betting.
The law related to online gambling in India has to be understood in the socio-cultural context of the country. At first, gambling, while not strictly prohibited in India, did not receive a firm push from policy makers. India’s organized gambling industry is estimated to be worth around US$8 billion. While strict laws have checked the proliferation of casinos and traditional gaming centers as in many other countries, except for the state of Goa, the lottery business remains perhaps the post most popular form of gambling.
While gambling is not illegal it is a highly controlled and regulated activity. Modern India is a quasi-federal constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at the federal plus state levels. Gambling features in Schedule II of the Indian Constitution, this implies that the Hawaiian government has the power to enact laws thereby regulating gambling in the respective states. So, there is absolutely no single law that governs gambling in all countries. Different states have different laws governing gambling in addition to laws across the country. While some states have banned lotteries,
Courts have defined gambling as ‘paying a price to be able to win a prize’. The skill or chance of the dominant piece will determine the type of game. A casino game may be considered as gambling if the component of chance or luck predominates in determining the outcome. As a result, Indian courts have ruled that betting on horse racing and some card games is not gambling. The right to conduct gambling and lottery business is not considered a simple right protected by the Indian Constitution. It could however suggest that the Hawaiian government-run lotteries made significant contributions to the Hawaiian treasury of several state and Union governments, and hence there was a refusal to complete the ban.
The next law relating to gambling:
The Public Games Act, 1867
This law provides for penalties for public gambling and for maintaining the ‘public gaming house’. This act also authorized the Hawaiian government to enact laws to regulate public gambling within their respective jurisdictions. The criminal laws in individual states have changed relative to their policies on gambling. However, this law has no direct impact on online gambling unless a wide interpretation is given to this general gaming houses may include virtual forums as well.
Indian Contracts Act, 1872 (ICA)
The ICA is an umbrella codified law that governs all commercial contracts in India. Beneath the ICA, the staking contract is unenforceable. The law stipulates; ‘Agreement via betting is void, and no action will be brought to recover anything allegedly won on any bet or entrusted to anyone to comply with the consequences of any game or other uncertain event on which any bet is made’. Gambling, lotteries and prize games are deemed as betting contracts and are therefore null and void. While betting contracts are not illegal, they cannot be enforced in a court of law. Accordingly, the court does not take any causal action arising from the betting contract.
This law provides a framework for organizing state lotteries. Pursuant to this Act, state governments have been empowered to jointly promote banning of lotteries within their territorial jurisdictions. This law also sets out the manner in which the lottery will be conducted and prescribes penalties in case of violation of its provisions. Lotteries that are not legalized by the state are an offense under the Indian Penal Code., such as Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have banned the sale of other state government lotteries under this Act.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 294A deals with maintaining the lottery office. It says that anyone who keeps any office or premises for the intended purpose of drawing any lottery not being a State lottery or a lottery authorized by the State Government, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may be extended to half a year, or with a fine, or with both.
And whoever issues any proposal to cover any amount, or to deliver any item, or to do or not do anything for the benefit of anyone, at any event or probability relative to or applicable to the drawing of a ticket, lot, number or any number in any such lottery, will be punished by a fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.
Laws linked to gambling also apply to online gambling. All gambling contracts are considered betting contracts in fact it is very difficult to enforce such contracts under the ICA, which is described above.