Is betting legal in India?

Many of our readers have asked us if online betting is legal in India.

We understand why many of you are having this concern, so we decided to write this in-depth article to give you the most correct answer and guide you to gamble legally in India.

Indian online betting law is vague and unclear, which makes a lot of people confused. We are all good citizens, and none of us wants to break the law.

To find the correct answer, we decided to team up with some of India’s top legal experts to make absolutely sure that we are on the right side of the law.

Is betting legal in India?

What online betting sites are legal in India?

All betting sites that are based outside of India can be used legally by Indian players.

However, betting sites are not allowed to operate on Indian territory.

That is why you don’t see any Indian betting sites. They’re simply not allowed to be based in India.

And that is also why Indian players use international betting sites such as Betway and Bet365.

How do I legally deposit money to a betting site?

There are plenty of options that allow you to legally deposit money on a betting site in India.

Most betting sites accept deposit methods such as Skrill and Neteller. These are legal, but may not be the most convenient for Indians to use.

The best way to deposit is via Indian payment solutions such as Paytm and PhonePe.

Alternatively, you can also deposit via AstroPay Card, Google Pay, and more.

All these great (and legal) deposit methods are accepted on 1xBet.

Is it legal to play online casino games in India?

Yes. There are no national laws that directly prohibit Indians from playing online casino games.

Some states may have more restrictive laws that only allow games of skill and not casino games, which are usually considered games of luck.

However, this remains a legal grey area. And due to the contradictory nature of Indian gambling laws, they are not enforced.

  • Click here to read more about the legality of online casinos in India.

Betting legal situation india

The current legal situation of online betting in India

To give you the most correct answer to this question, we have allied ourselves with one of the top legal experts on gambling in India, Mr. Manoj Mishra, Senior Advocate in the Odisha State Bar Council.

Through our interview with him, he will attempt to give us the most legal and correct information in this article. So let’s start from the beginning.

We asked Mr. Mishra the simple question: is online betting legal in India? And here is the answer he gave:

“The legal situation relating to using online betting sites in India is decidedly unclear. The Public Gaming Act of 1867 makes no reference to online betting.”

  • From this answer, we can deduce that online betting is not mentioned in Indian betting laws, and therefore is not formally prohibited.

Instead, the government of India has left it to the states to decide whether to legalize online betting or outlaw it within their own state.

We asked Mr. Mishra if any Indian citizen has ever been prosecuted for using an online betting site. He answered:

“We are certainly not aware of any Indian being prosecuted or charged for the offense of using a betting site.”

This answer should put most people at ease. It shows that the government is not going around and prosecuting people who are engaged in online betting in India.

Online betting laws in India remains a complicated and disputed issue.

Local state laws and federal laws sometimes contradict one another.

As a result, you will find that many legal experts in India have their own interpretations of the law.

Until the government of India imposes a more clear set of laws, we have to accept that online betting will remain a legal grey area.

Fortunately, we can take comfort in the knowledge that no Indian has been prosecuted, let alone convicted for using online betting sites.


Gambling was first prohibited in India during the colonial period under the Public Gambling Act of 1867.

This law made it illegal to offer gambling services in all of India, as well as to visit and use a public gambling facility.

Indian betting law does not make any mention of online betting as it was made many years before the invention of the internet

So along comes the internet, and people start asking: Does that mean online betting is legal because it is not expressly forbidden under the law of 1867? The short answer is yes.

If the government of India had wanted to fully prohibit online betting, they could have amended the law to prohibit online betting, but they never did that.


In 1950 the constitution of India was introduced. In the constitution, it is written that states are allowed to formulate their own gambling laws.

So Instead of imposing a federal law to either ban or legalise online betting, the central government left it up to the individual states to decide whether or not to legalise or prohibit online betting in their territory.

This means that each state in India has it’s own online betting laws. Some are more strict while others have less stringent laws.

Example: In the state of Maharashtra, games of skill are allowed while games of luck are prohibited. The same is true for Karnataka and many other states.

In the state of Sikkim, the local government is actively trying to legalise and regulate online betting. They have begun to accept license applications from betting operators that wish to offer games in the state.

In most other Indian states, there are no specific laws regarding online betting, which makes it a legal grey area.

For example, in the state of Tamil Nadu, it is neither legal nor illegal to bet online. Therefore, it is not a prosecutable offense to gamble online in any state except Maharashtra.

India map of legal betting

Games of skill are legal – games of luck are forbidden

As mentioned above, many states allow games of skill but do not allow games of luck.

So what is the difference between a game of skill and a game of luck?

A game of skill is a game where you, the player, can increase your own chances of success by learning more about the game.

According to this logic, online betting should be considered a game of skill.

The more you know about a particular sport, team, or tournament, the greater your chances of success at online betting.

Example: Let’s say Team India is playing a test match against the West Indies. You know everything there is to know about the two teams, as well as the pitch, the conditions, their form, etc.

Having this knowledge, your chance of placing a correct bet on the outcome of the match is much greater than someone with zero knowledge about the game of cricket and the two teams, right?

Therefore, online betting is clearly a game of skill, and as such, is considered legal in many Indian states.

On the other hand, a game of luck is a game where you, the player, have zero impact on the outcome of the game.

An example of a game of luck is roulette.

No matter how much you study the game of roulette, your chances of success will always remain fixed.

Once the little ball has been cast into the roulette wheel, it could land anywhere. And your bet is as good as mine.

Is betting legal in india

Horse race betting is a game of skill but cricket is not?

In 1996, it was decided by the Supreme Court of India that horse race betting should be legal because it is skill-based rather than based on luck.

This beckons the question, why is horse race betting based on skill when cricket or football betting is not? It takes at least the same amount of skill to predict the outcome of a cricket match, no?

Horse race betting is considered a game of skill – cricket betting is not!

Although we certainly agree that horse race betting should be legal, it seems odd to make this distinction from other sports.

In our opinion, the only reason why policymakers decided to legalise horse race betting, is because they know that if they prohibited this, it would be the end of horse breeding in India, which has become a very profitable and prominent industry in India.

One could also ask, isn’t it hypocritical to prohibit betting, only to legalise it on a few select sports such as horse racing and rummy?

This is a classic example of the contradictory betting laws of India.

The government should be consistent in its policymaking and legalise gambling on all sports throughout India!


Nobody knows exactly when online betting will be fully legalised in India.

It may happen next year. Or it may never happen at all.

No matter what happens, you can be sure that we will always be there to guide you to legal and safe online betting sites.

Do not be alarmed: Although the current betting laws are vague and unclear, online betting is still possible to bet online both legally and safely in India.