Eternity Law International News Online Gaming in India: A Growing Phenomenon

Online Gaming in India: A Growing Phenomenon

March 22, 2024

In recent years, India has witnessed a consequential surge in online-gambling activities, marking a notable shift in how people engage with games of chance and skill. The proliferation of internet connectivity, coupled with the widespread adoption of smartphones, has made accessing online-gambling platforms easier than ever before. This phenomenon has captured the attention of policymakers, industry stakeholders, and the public alike, sparking debates surrounding its legality, adjustment, and societal impact.

The Rise of Online Gambling Platforms

The rise of online-gambling platforms in India can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the rapid expansion of internet infrastructure across the country has facilitated widespread access to online services, including gambling websites and applications. With over 700 million internet users and counting, India boasts one of the largest online populations globally, providing a fertile ground for the growth of online gamble.

Secondly, the ubiquity of smartphones has played a pivotal role in driving the popularity of online-gambling. With affordable smartphones becoming increasingly accessible, millions of Indians now have the means to engage in online betting and gaming anytime, anywhere. This convenience factor has contributed consequentially to the proliferation of online-gambling platforms, as users can place bets and play casino games with just a few taps on their screens.

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Licenses in Gambling Industry

Industry of Gaming in India operates under a substructure of various licenses and adjustments, although the specifics can vary depending on the type of gaming activity involved. Here are some of the key licenses and Gaming rules in India, aspects relevant to gaming in country:

  • Central Government Licenses: Certain forms of gaming, such as lotteries and betting on horse racing, fall under the purview of central governance adjustment. Licenses for operating lotteries are typically issued by the state governances but require approval from the central governance under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998. Similarly, betting on horse racing is controlled by the central governance through the Horse Racing (Regulation of Accounts and Taxation) Act, 1978.
  • State Government Licenses: Many aspects of gaming, including casinos,online-gaming, and sports betting, are controlled by state governances. Each state has its own set of laws and adjustments governing gaming activities within its jurisdiction. State government issue licenses for land-based casinos, gaming arcades, and other similar establishments. For example, Goa and Sikkim are among the states that permit certain forms of gambling and issue licenses accordingly.
  • Online Skill-based Gaming Licenses: Online games that involve skill rather than chance often operate under a different adjustment substructure. These games typically include fantasy sports, poker, rummy, and other skill-based competitions. The legality of such games varies by state, and operators may require licenses or approvals from relevant authorities. Some states have specific laws governing online skill-based gaming, while others may regulate them under general gambling laws.
  • Payment Gateway Approvals: Firms offering online-gaming services often need approvals from payment gateway providers to facilitate transactions. Payment gateway providers may have their own set of policies and requirements for approving gaming-related transactions, particularly those involving real-money gaming.
  • Foreign Investment Adjustments: Foreign firms looking to invest in the Indian gaming industry need to comply with foreign investment adjustments set by the governance. Depending on the nature and scale of the investment, approvals from adjustment bodies such as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) may be required.
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) Compliance: Gaming operators in India are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST) on their services. The GST rates may vary depending on the type of gaming activity and its classification under the GST regime.

Social and Economic Impact

The rise of online gambling in India has not only sparked legal and adjustment debates but also raised questions about its social and economic impact. Proponents argue that controlled online-gambling can generate consequential tax revenues for the governance, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth. Additionally, they contend that liable gambling practices and safeguards can mitigate the potential harms associated with excessive gambling.

However, critics caution against the negative consequences of unchecked online-gambling, including addiction, financial ruin, and social harm. They argue that the easy accessibility of online-gambling platforms, combined with aggressive marketing tactics, can exacerbate gambling-related problems, particularly among vulnerable populations such as youth and low-income individuals.

The Importance of Licensing

Licensing is a pivotal aspect of the online-gambling ecosystem, providing legitimacy and accountability to operators while offering assurances to players regarding fair play, security, and liable gambling practices. In the absence of robust licensing mechanisms, the industry risks becoming a breeding ground for unscrupulous operators, fraudulent activities, and exploitation of consumers.

One common approach to licensing in the Indian online-gambling industry is the issuance of licenses by state governances or adjustment authorities. These licenses may cover various forms of online-gambling, including sports betting, casino games, poker, and fantasy iasports. Operators seeking to enter the market must adhere to the licensing requirements set forth by the respective authorities, which may include financial stability, integrity checks, liable gambling measures, and compliance with anti-money laundering adjustments.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite the importance of licensing, navigating the licensing process in the Indian online-gambling industry can be fraught with challenges and complexities. The lack of uniformity in adjustments across different states, coupled with the evolving nature of online-gambling, presents hurdles for operators seeking to obtain licenses and comply with adjustment requirements.

Moreover, the ambiguity surrounding the legal status of online-gambling in India adds another layer of uncertainty for operators and controller alike. The absence of clear guidelines and precedents leaves room for interpretation, creating legal grey areas that may hinder the effective adjustment of the industry.


The rise of online-gambling in India represents a complex and multifaceted phenomenon with far-reaching implications for society, the economy, and public policy. While online-gambling offers possibilities for entertainment, economic development, and tax revenue generation, it also poses consequential challenges in terms of adjustment, consumer protection, and social responsibility.

Moving forward, policymakers, industry stakeholders, and civil society must work together to develop a comprehensive and balanced adjustment substructure that addresses the unique characteristics of online-gambling while safeguarding the interests of consumers and society at large. By striking the right balance between innovation and adjustment, India can harness the potential benefits of online-gambling while mitigating its potential risks, ensuring a safe and sustainable gambling environment for all.

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