2023: The Year of Change for Indian Gambling Scene

Indian Gambling Scene

Indian Gambling Scene

Indian Gambling Scene

When online gambling first stepped into the spotlight in the early 2000s, no one could have predicted that India would take more than 20 years to start appropriately regulating it.

Although India is no exception and many lawmakers worldwide ignore online gambling, it is surprising to see a country with such a bureaucratic system failing to recognize the trend.

The results of ignorance are astonishing and heartbreaking. Without a proper market and legitimate casino houses, many Indians have fallen into the trap of playing with black market brands and betting with scammers. 

In 2023, Indian authorities decided to put an end to it and create a more welcoming gambling environment.

19th Century Law in the 21st Century

Gambling in India is currently pretty much regulated by the Public Gambling Act of 1867 (PGA). Even though some states have their own laws and regulations, the PGA is still the groundstone for all the gambling laws in the country. Needless to say, it is lacking in many ways. 

In 2022, the Indian government unveiled its plan to introduce a new, modern and contemporary gambling legislation to supplant the PGA.

Just one year later, in January 2023, the government issued a new set of directives aimed at governing online gambling, intending to establish “self-regulating” entities to supervise the industry.

The Definition That is Long Overdue

But that is not all, as it seems that the Indian government is moving full steam ahead.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT) introduced revisions to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 (ITR). These new rules stepped into power in April 2023. 

They define an “online game” as any type of game accessible through the internet, on any type of device. An “online real money game” is a type of game in which players make a monetary or non-monetary deposit, hoping they will win a prize.

The Ministry goes even one step further. It defined permissible and non-permissible online real money games, asking for real money games to be verified and approved by the Online Gaming Self-Regulatory Body (OGSRB). 

This bold new move will most certainly result in many new brands focused on local Indian players being added to Bestindiancasinos.co.in. Stacked with objective reviews and great recommendations, this website is a starting point for many online gamblers.

Will OGSRB Do?

The main purpose of OGRSB is to create a working, quickly adaptable online gambling regulation framework that would protect customers from all gambling-related risks, especially minors.

This special organization would gather experts from all aspects of the industry, including, but not limited to a registered gambling company, an individual with experience in the industry, educationalists, psychologists, and fighters for children’s rights.

However, what might seem good on paper is already showing to be lacking in practice. Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has announced three types of games will face a blanket ban in India: games that involve betting, harmful games, and games that can cause addiction. 

“For the first time, we have prepared a framework regarding online gaming, in that we will not allow 3 types of games in the country. Games that involve betting or can be harmful to the user and that involve a factor of addiction will be banned in the country.” said the Minister. 

Obviously, when enjoyed without moderation, all three apply to online casino games. This led many to wonder whether the new law was well-intended at all, or just a ploy to introduce a total ban through the back door.

An Avalanche of Gambling Bans

In 2022, Tamil Nadu voted for a blanket ban on gambling, and in 2023 Maharashtra did the same by scraping the law that left the door cracked open for casino establishments to operate within the state.

Pondicherry is also planning to shut the door to online gambling. In 2017, Telangana became the pioneer state to declare a prohibition on online gambling and betting, with Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra following suit in 2020. 

It remains to be seen what changes the new laws and regulations will bring to the Indian online gambling market. For now, it, unfortunately, doesn’t look very promising!

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