Gambling has a long history in India and has been the past time of choice for millions of people over the years. However, things have changed from enjoying a small game around a table with friends thanks to technology development. With the advancement of mobile technology, Indians now have access to different forms of entertainment using a mobile device, including betting apps.
Before we look more closely at the legality of betting apps in India, we need to understand the difference between games of skill and games of chance. A game of skill is something in which the player has control over the outcome, and a game of chance is when the outcome of the game is not in control of those involved.
Using cricket as an example, the players involved in a cricket match are in control of the outcome. Sports is a game of skill for the cricketers, but the same cannot be said for those wanting to bet on cricket. You can do as much research ahead of a match as you like, but if you place a bet on a player to score a century, it is ultimately out of your hands.
This makes betting fall into both categories, like a game of skill due to your knowledge of the sport but also a game of chance as you are relying on something out of your control. According to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all forms of gambling are illegal because it is chance, which includes betting on cricket.
However, it is legal to participate in lotteries and betting on horse racing, both of which can be described as games of chance, so the situation is unclear in terms of the legality of betting apps in India.
You could use a betting app to place a bet on cricket, which would be against the law under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, but if you were to use the app to bet on horse racing, that would be fine, which seems to be fine strange. Thankfully, things become clearer when looking at online betting using offshore betting apps.
There are no restrictions in place regarding the use of offshore betting apps in India. Each state within the country may decide to impose specific laws against online betting apps, but as things stand, there are no federal laws against online sports betting in India using offshore apps.
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 makes no reference to online gambling in India, which comes as no surprise given the date it first came into place. At the time of writing, there is no evidence to suggest an Indian citizen has been punished for using an online betting application.
In the future, the government may decide to act and make online betting legal in India, with a framework for betting apps to follow. For the time being, it is possible to enjoy betting using mobile apps in India, but you should choose betting apps wisely. Look for recent reviews to be sure you are using a safe betting app.
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