While the status of online betting and gambling has never been very clear in India, the industry is still quite a popular one. Most people are a fan of online rummy apps or sports betting websites, especially during important seasons such as the IPL.
The laws regarding gambling are quite confusing in India. However, the online betting industry has seen exponential growth in the past few years, thanks to many factors such as the shift to digital payments, better and cheaper mobile data, as well as the pandemic, which locked people in their homes, with enough free time to explore gambling apps.
Since online betting has become so popular, it is important to question the actual legalities behind the sector.
Is Online Betting Legal in Chandigarh?
Gambling laws in India are specified in the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which has conclusively banned any gambling activities that are done in “public gaming houses”. The Public Gambling Act has also been accepted by most state governments, except a few such as Goa and Sikkim, who have chosen to create their own laws regarding gambling.
However, since the Public Gambling Act does not make any mention of online gambling or online betting sites, there exists a legal grey area, which people have used to continue betting online. Due to this loophole, online betting cannot be considered illegal.
Since the Public Gambling Act determines the laws concerning gambling in Chandigarh, online betting cannot be considered illegal in the city. This means that people can choose to bet online using trustworthy betting sites in India.
Will Online Betting Ever Be Legalized?
There may yet come a time when online gambling will be addressed with a formal set of laws and regulations in India. Already, some states such as Andhra Pradesh have banned all forms of online betting.
On the flip side, some states such as Maharashtra have considered formally legalizing online betting. There are more than a few benefits to legalizing the online betting industry, the most significant of which is the matter of tax revenue.
In many foreign countries where gambling is considered legal, the government has set up regulations that every betting site must adhere to in order to operate in the country. This means that these betting operators also become liable to pay a tax to the state for allowing them to operate their business.
Were Indian states to allow online gambling to occur legally, this tax would then become a part of their state revenue. As per research by the Maharashtra government, each state could hope to mobilize as much as 2,500 crore rupees per year in GST transactions!
At a time when the Indian economy is struggling due to the pandemic and its resulting economic crises, the state governments could surely use such as financial boost.
Formal legalization and regulation of the industry could also help protect users from fraudulent websites as well as shady betting apps. Additionally, having a user complaint forum would create an atmosphere of trust within the industry, allowing people from all over the country to safely bet online.