Internet Casinos Inc. (ICI), the world’s first online casino, began operating on August 18, 1995 with 18 different games. Since then, more than 1,400 websites, mostly based on small islands in the Caribbean, have spawned an industry that raises more than $ 3 billion a year. In fact, no internet business generates more income than online gambling. Of the estimated 14.5 million online gamers, nearly 30 percent are from Asia.
A bet can be placed in minutes. Anyone with a credit card can open a foreign currency account with a gambling site, leaving them free to place bets on sporting events such as Wimbledon, cricket, horse racing and Formula One, or join a virtual casino to play slot machines. , roulette, blackjack. , poker, etc. Companies like Flutter and Betmart take bets on anything from who will win the Nobel Prize to whether or not Madonna gets divorced. Bets can range from a penny to thousands of dollars and depending on whether you win or lose, the amount is automatically adjusted to your account. The final balance can be mailed to you or left for future wagers.
The law relating to online gambling in India must be understood within the socio-cultural context of the country. At first, gambling, although not absolutely prohibited in India, does not receive an express encouragement from policy makers. The organized gambling industry in India is estimated to be worth around $ 8 billion. While strict laws have controlled the proliferation of high street casinos and gaming centers as in many other countries except in the state of Goa, the lottery business remains the most popular form of gambling.
Although gambling is not illegal, it is a highly controlled and regulated activity. Modern India is a quasi-federal constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at both the federal and state levels. Gambling appears in List II of the Constitution of India, this implies that state governments have the authority to enact laws to regulate gambling in the respective states. Therefore, there is no single law that governs gambling throughout the country. Different states have different laws governing gambling, in addition to laws that apply across the country. While some states have banned lotteries, other states allow state government lotteries to be marketed and distributed in other states that play and promote lotteries through private entities.
The courts have defined gambling as “the payment of a price for the opportunity to win a prize.” The dominant element of skill or chance will determine the nature of the game. A game can be considered a game of chance if the element of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. As a result, Indian courts have held that betting on horse racing and some card games is not gambling. The right to conduct gambling and lottery business is not considered a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India. However, it can be noted that state-run lotteries make significant contributions to the state treasury of various state governments and the Union government, and thus there is resistance to the outright ban.
The following legislation is relevant to gambling:
The Public Gaming Act of 1867
This law establishes a penalty for public gambling and for maintaining a “common gambling house”. This Law also authorizes state governments to enact laws to regulate public gambling in their respective jurisdictions. The criminal laws in the respective states have been modified in accordance with their policy on gambling. However, this legislation has no direct impact on online gambling unless the definition of a common gambling house is given a broad interpretation to include virtual forums as well.
The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (ICA)
ICA is a codified general legislation governing all business contracts in India. According to the ICA, a betting contract is one that cannot be enforced. The law states; “The gambling UFABET agreements are void, and no lawsuit will be brought to recover anything that is alleged to have been won on any bet or entrusted to any person to comply with the outcome of any game or other uncertain event in which a bet has been placed “. Games of chance, lottery and prizes have been considered gambling contracts and are therefore void and unenforceable. While a gambling contract is not illegal, it cannot be enforced in a court of law.