BY Avid Legal
Online gaming has grown exponentially in India in recent years, with millions of people participating in various forms of online gaming, including poker, rummy, fantasy sports, and online casinos. However, the legal status of online gaming in India is still a subject of debate and interpretation. In this Avid Update, recent legal issues, precedents set by the court of laws, the debate between chance and skills, contemporary meaning of gambling and its differentiation from online gaming, different governing authorities of different states applicable on online games, issues pertaining to taxation, IPR, online platforms, advertisements have been discussed.
Online gaming is regulated by a combination of Central and State laws in India. The Central law that governs online gaming is the Information Technology Act, 2000 & its related rules. The IT Act provides immunity to intermediaries, such as online gaming platforms, from liability for any thirdparty content that is published on their platform, provided that they comply with certain due diligence requirements. The state laws that regulate online gaming differ from state to state. Some states have adopted laws that permit certain forms of online gaming, while others prohibit all forms of online gaming.
Under the Public Gambling Act, 1867, gambling is prohibited in India, with a few exceptions. The law defines gambling as the act of "wagering or betting" on games of chance. However, the law is not clear on the scope of the term "gambling," which has led to confusion and debate over whether certain forms of online gaming are legal or not. Several landmark judgments by courts in India have helped in providing clarity on the legal status of various forms of online gaming. Despite these judgments, the legal status of online gaming continues to be a subject of debate and interpretation, and further developments are expected in this area. In addition, the lack of uniformity in the laws across different states has led to confusion and inconsistency in the application of the law.
In conclusion, online gaming in India is a complex and evolving area of law. While there have been some landmark judgments by courts in India that have provided clarity on the legal status of various forms of online gaming, the legal position continues to be a subject of debate and interpretation. Anyone interested in engaging in online gaming should carefully review the applicable laws and regulations and seek legal advice if necessary.