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Is Online Betting Legal in India?

Cover image for post Online Betting in India - Legal or Not?
Online Betting in India - Legal or Not?
Is Online Betting Legal in India?

Wondering whether you can bet online legally in India or not? Well, you are in the right place. We dive deep into the laws and break them down for you so that you can make more informed decisions.


The article is our interpretation of the laws and opinions on the apps. It is not legal advice; we do not owe any duty of care to readers. All readers should seek legal counsel to make legal or business decisions or for general guidance.

A Brief History About the Laws

For years, sportsbooks like Bet365, Betway, etc., accepted Indian bettors as there were no laws banning offshore sportsbooks, making online betting and gambling a legal grey area.

Betting and gambling laws in India are governed by the Public Gambling Act of 1867. But since these laws existed well before online betting started, they do not mention it.

According to this act, gambling or betting is only a punishable offense in a gaming house or a public place.

Furthermore, there’s the Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000) that governs online transactions and communications. This act also made no mention of online betting and gambling.

While states in India are allowed to make online gambling laws, most continue to follow the Public Gambling Act of 1867.

Only Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh have put a blanket ban on online betting and gambling.

But on April 6, 2023, online betting laws changed after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) introduced various amendments to the Information and Technology Act 2000.

These amendments aim to establish a co-regulatory framework between MeitY and registered Self-Regulatory Bodies (SRBs).

Confused? No problem. Let’s look deeper into India’s new sports betting laws, SRBs, and how the rules impact betting sites in India and Indian bettors.

As per the new rules, online real-money games need the SRBs’ approval to be made available to the users. Any game that gets the nod is called a ‘permissible online real money game’ or ‘PORMG.’

But for games to get SRB approval, there are various rules to follow. For example:

  1. Section 3, Clause (a) states that it should not allow wagering on outcomes.
  2. The OGIs (Online Gaming Intermediaries) must comply with obligations under Rules 3 and 4. Rule 3 restricts the content, while Rule 4 requires them to appoint a grievance officer.
  3. They need to keep in mind laws related to minors.
  4. Do thorough KYC of the users that want to deposit money.
  5. Tell the users in detail their policy for deposits, distribution of winnings, how winners are determined, etc.
  6. OGIs need to have a mark of verification.
  7. Most importantly, they need to follow the framework of the SRBs.

So what do these laws mean for betting in India?

Since betting sites offer wagering on outcomes, it is unlikely that platforms like Betway, Bet365, etc., will get the approval of the SRBs.

However, some ambiguities in the law need to be addressed.

For starters, the laws do not differentiate between a game of skill and a game of chance. This is important because wagering means risking your money on an uncertain event in the hopes of making more by guessing the outcome.

So then, is betting on a game of skill allowed? Can you bet on horse races, as these have been held as a game of skill by the supreme court in India?

Similarly, in fantasy sports, the person whose team has the highest point is awarded real money. This can also be argued as wagering on the outcome but has been held as a game of skill by higher courts.

In our opinion, the framework of the SRBs is going to be crucial to clearing these doubts.

But what are these SRBs? Who is going to form it, and by when?

These Self Regulating Bodies are going to be non-profit companies comprised of stakeholders in the online gaming industry, mental health professionals, people with experience in protecting children’s rights, a board of directors with no conflict of interest, etc.

A few things you should know about the SRBs:

  • SRBs have 3 months to approve or deny a real money game.
  • However, they can briefly allow the game to operate based on the initial information furnished.
  • The SRB can also suspend or revoke verification if it feels the game is not in compliance with the new IT rules.
  • SRBs have to provide written reasons for why the game is approved, denied, or banned.
  • They need to appoint a grievance officer that needs to address complaints within 24 hours.

Also, note that while the SRBs framework and verification are important, they do no have the authority to take legal action against sportsbooks or users.

And as for their timeline, at least 2 proposals for forming the SRBs have been sent. One of the proposals is from the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), while the other is from the members of the e-gaming Federation (EGF).

The decision ultimately lies in the hands of the MeitY, and we can expect the SRBs to be formed in the next 2-3 months.

Online betting is not legal, but neither illegal in India. This is mainly because of the ambiguity in the laws we discussed above and the bans on some betting apps.

Yes, MeitY has been directed to block around 232 apps which include betting apps and sites like Betway, Bet365, and 1xBet.

But the ban hasn’t been fully enforced, which means some sportsbooks continue to operate like usual, whereas some are able to provide service via alternate sites.

It is also important to note that no one in India has been punished for online betting yet, and neither do the amendments suggest any punishment or fines towards users or the sportsbooks.

However, since the new laws do not overrule the state laws, betting remains a punishable offence in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.

For the rest of the country, there will be better clarity on the new laws once the SRBs are set up. The banned sportsbooks can then make modifications to suit Indian players and laws, apply to the SRBs for approval, and have the ban overturned.

In the meantime, if you want to get into the action, here are some sportsbooks that aren’t banned and have trusted licenses.

Some Trusted Betting Sites in India

All of the above-mentioned sites are licensed and come with important features that ensure safe and responsible betting.

Plus, they have the necessary features to ensure you have all the info needed to place the right bets, like live updates, stats, etc.


Truth be told, Indians sure do have an appetite for online betting. Online betting industry stats show that it has grown from $0.44 B to $1.4 B in the last 6 years and is expected to rise to $2.47 B by 2027.

But betting, whether online or offline, continues to see pushback from some sectors. This is mainly because of its socio-economic impact, especially on the youth. Furthermore, it is also seen as a haven for money laundering.

However, if done with proper licensing, KYC, etc., it can be a great source of revenue for the states and the country. For example, casinos contributed ₹135 crores to Goa’s revenue in 2013.

And yes, it can be done legally. Countries like the UK, France, and Germany have shown the way.

India’s laws on online betting are evolving, with more changes expected in the coming years. Whether the government sees it as a source of income in the future and capitalizes on the big market is yet to be seen.

In the meantime, we are in touch with the betting platforms to see how they plan to adapt to the new rules in India and will provide you with an update soon.



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