What is the Punishment for Betting & Gambling in India?

Gambling is illegal in India. This is thanks to a law first enacted by the British in 1867. The Public Gambling Act has shockingly endured for so many years despite India changing beyond recognition. Of course, online betting and casinos did not exist back then and were therefore not mentioned in the law. Technically there is nothing that would make playing on a site like Bet365 India or Betway India illegal. The public gambling law is still the same after so many years and the penalties imposed remain the same. What is the penalty for gambling in India?

Gambling Laws in India

Most gambling activities in India or under strict control. However, some categories such as horse racing and lotteries are an exception. Gambling in India is a state issue which means that only state governments have the right to formulate and administer such activities for their states.

The Public Gambling Act 1867, also known as the Gambling Act, is the general law governing gambling in India. However, since the state legislatures are entrusted with the regulatory power to formulate state gambling rules by the Indian Constitution, the state prepares such laws by that state’s requirements. The Gambling Law is the central law passed by certain states in India and other states have enacted or enacted their laws to regulate and regulate gambling activities in their territories. Since most gambling laws were enacted before the advent of online or virtual gambling or betting, gambling law mostly relates to gambling activities in physical form.

Since the time of British rule, many states in India have enforced the Gambling Act and banned all forms of gambling and betting in their respective states. Goa and Sikkim were the only states that allowed gambling and betting, subject to the regulations of those respective states.

Gambling Laws In India Make SKILLED Gaming Legal

Whilst a good percentage is legally bet on horse racing and lotteries, a large proportion is bet on cricket and other sports through illegal and ‘technically illegal’ channels. In this article, I will look at the complex Indian gambling laws, including what forms of gambling are prohibited, which are expressly permitted, and what gray areas remain.

Is gambling in India considered a game of chance or a game of skill?

India mainly divides the games into two broad categories to differentiate them. The two categories are that the game is either a game of chance or a game of skill.

  • Gambling: Gambling is any game that is played at random. These games are based on luck. A person can play these games without any prior knowledge or understanding. For example dice games, number dialing, etc. Such games are considered illegal in India.
  • Skill Game: Skill games are all games played based on one’s prior knowledge or experience of the game. A person needs skills like analytical decision-making, logical thinking skills, etc. Some games may also require some initial training to win. Such games are considered legal by most Indian states.

Even if a game of chance requires a certain level of skill, it cannot be considered illegal at all. However, there are many prejudices surrounding such slot machines.

What is the Punishment for Betting & Gambling in India?

Under the law, if caught gambling, you can be fined INR 100 or jailed for up to a month. If found guilty of running a gambling organization, you can be fined up to INR 200 or imprisoned for up to 3 months.

While these jail sentences can seem daunting, the fine is simply too small to be of any interest to anyone.

This is also another reason why India needs to update this law and introduce legal betting. Nice. States like Goa, Sikkim, and Diu have legalized gambling at casinos licensed in their territory. The result is a huge boom in the tourism they get and the tax revenue these states enjoy.

A similar benefit can be gained by the Indian government by only adopting modern practices that are now common around the world.

What is the penalty for gambling in India? Interestingly, no person has ever been fined or charged for online gambling sites. At this point, we should mention that we are not legal experts and for more clarity on the matter, you should seek professional advice!


The legal status of gambling in India in 2021 requires the renewal of several gambling laws that are more unified. The government needs to step up its game by creating a good legal framework in this area.

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