Are laws regarding online gambling in India due for a change?

  • A new gambling bill aims to protect the integrity of the igaming industry in India.
  • Online gambling in India is worth almost $1 billion and growing.
  • The new regulations would give India's government power to control the gambling industry.
online gambling in india
Online gambling in India is growing in popularity, but certain states have banned games of chance altogether. Now there's a call for a new era of legislation with the Online Gaming Regulation Bill 2022.

India is home to 1.4 billion people, and gambling has always been a popular pastime across the country.

Up until now, online gambling laws in India have been decided on a state level. This meant that many states welcomed online gaming while others banned being able to play for real money. However, this is all set to change with the introduction of the Online Gaming Regulation Bill 2022.

The new bill was brought before the Lok Sabha, India's constitutional House of the People in Parliament, on the 1st of April 2022. But this was no joke, as the bill was created to "preserve the integrity of the nation's iGaming industry".

India's new online gambling bill


With online gambling in India worth almost $1 billion and estimated to grow to $3.4 billion by 2024, protecting the industry is vital. 

Currently, the bill covers all aspects of online gaming, with no distinction between games of chance and skill. Some feel that this is a failure on the bill's part as casual gaming is already governed by a number of other legislations.

Real money gambling in India needs the most attention, especially as the only rules in place are those set by state governments. Due to the different laws that currently exist, the bill also calls for a nationwide 'watch dog' in the form of an Online Gaming Commission.

If the bill is passed, the Commission would have power over the following:

  • Rules regarding licensing
  • Account keeping
  • Who may or may not play online
  • Organising or exhibiting online games
  • Notices for online gambling sites
  • Regulation of participation by proxy
  • Credit facilities by an online gambling licensee

With the Commission in power, various checks and regulations can be set in motion successfully.

Safer gambling is key


It remains to be seen whether or not the new bill will be accepted. There are also concerns that the bill does not cover responsible gambling effectively or mention Bitcoin casinos in India.

As it stands, there are no laws within the bill that cover Know Your Customer requirements, customer complaints, data protection, and other safer gambling needs.

Much work still needs to be done for the bill to pass all of the necessary checks and requirements. There is no mention of when the outcome of the bill will be announced.

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