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Clarifying India’s Gambling and Gaming Laws

Generally, gambling in India is governed by the archaic The Public Gambling Act of 1867 that prohibits operating public gaming houses for gambling purposes. The law further defines gambling as the act of staking real money wagers on games of chance, except for lotteries and horse which some elements of skills apply. However, India’s laws also allow the different states to enact legislation that govern such activities in their jurisdictions.

While most Indian states and union territories have instituted guidelines that conform to The Public Gambling Act, some have amended or expanded their gaming laws in line with the gaming developments that have transpired in the gambling and gaming industry.

However, the different legislative actions taken by these states have sparked confusion among Indian citizens, particularly avid players of fantasy sports, poker and rummy games. That is why online gaming platforms like Rummy Ho published Terms and Agreement that include notice that the site does not accept players from Nagaland, Sikkim, Assam, Odisha, and Telangana. The T&A can be viewed via this website

Gambling Laws in the States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Sikkim, Odisha and Telangana

Inasmuch as the old law made reference only to public gaming houses, the individual laws instituted as framework in seven jurisdictions resulted in the inclusion of Internet-based sites in their gaming prohibitions. In most cases, this is regardless of whether an online gaming site is offering only games of skills like fantasy sports, poker and rummy games.

The Assam Act

When the Assam Gaming Act amended the Bengal Act in 1913, it had no provision for the exemption of games of skills. As a result the state law was interpreted as one that does not allow staking real money wagers on poker, rummy and fantasy sports.

Nagaland’s 2015 Online Games of Skill Act

This state law is the most recent as it recognizes the distinction of games of skills as an exemption to gambling activities. However, Section 7 of the Act explicitly requires providers of online sites for games of skills to obtain not only a state-issued license but also to comply with the states gaming regulations.

Entrepreneurs looking to offer any of the recognized games of skills will likewise be subject to regulatory oversight that involves payment of taxes and supervisory fees. Otherwise, real-money online gambling websites that accept players from Nagaland will be penalized for non compliance of the state’s gaming act

The Sikkim Gaming Act

Similar to the Nagaland gaming Act, Sikkim gaming legislation requires online gaming platforms to obtain a license in offering both games of chance and games of skills, whilst subject to certain conditions. The games of licensed online gaming platforms will be offered and played only in intranet gaming terminals in residences or in gaming cafes located in the state of Sikkim. The ban includes the newer progressive slot game machines to which operations are linked to land-based casinos outside of Sikkim.

The Gaming Acts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

The Gaming Acts in these two states have been passed to amend their existing gambling acts by expressly prohibiting online gaming platforms, and without regard on whether the wagering cash involves playing on games of skills.

Although Tamil Nadu likewise expanded its gaming laws with prohibitions against online gaming platforms, the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act continues to recognize the exemption of games of skills from the premises of its gaming restrictions.

The Gaming Acts of Odisha and Telangana

Both the states of Odisha and Telangana have enacted Gaming Acts aimed at promulgating the prevention of gambling in their jurisdiction. That being the cases, the Prevention of Gambling Act in both states simply prohibits citizens to engage in any form of wagering or betting,

According to their gaming laws, such acts intentionally expose money and other valuable possessions to hazards. Even if staked on games of skills, these two Indian states aim to prevent citizens from losing money even by chance.