Internet Casinos Inc. (ICI), the world’s first online casino, started operating from September 15, 1995, with 15 different games. Now more than 1, 400 websites, mostly domiciled in small Caribbean of the islands, have given rise to an industry that grosses over $3 billion a year. In fact no business on the Superslot Internet earning more revenue than online gaming. Out of the estimated 14. 5 million online players, almost 30 % are from Asia.
A bet can be slipped into minutes. Anyone with a credit card can set up an offshore currency account with a gaming site, leaving them free to place proposition wagers on sporting events like 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 accept proposition wagers on anything from who is going to win the Nobel Prize to whether Madonna is getting a divorce or not. Proposition wagers can range from a dime to thousands of dollars and according to whether you win or lose the amount is automatically adjusted back. The final balance can then either be mailed to you or left for future proposition wagers.
Regulations relating to online gaming in Of india needs to be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. At the outset, gaming, although not absolutely disallowed in Of india, does not receive express inspiration by policy makers. The Indian organized gaming industry is estimated to be worth around US$8 billion. While tough laws have checked the proliferation of casinos and high-street gaming colleges such as many other countries, barring hawaii of Goa, the lottery business remains the most post popular form of gaming.
Though gaming is not illegal, it is a highly controlled and regulated activity. Modern Of india is a quasi-federal Constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at the federal as well as the state levels. Gaming features in List II of the Composition of Of india, what this means is that the state governments have the authority to enact laws in order to regulate gaming in the respective states. Thus, there is no single law governing gaming in the entire country. Different states have different laws governing gaming in addition to the laws that have an application around the world. While some states have banned lotteries, other states allow local government lotteries marketed and distributed in other lottery playing and promoting states through private entities.
Regulation of gaming
The courts have defined gaming as ‘the payment of a price for to be able to win a prize’. The superior element of skill or chance should determine the type of the game. A game may be deemed to be gaming if the element of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. As a result, Indian courts have held that gambling on on horse racing and a few cards are not gaming. The right to try the business of gaming and lotteries is not considered as important right protected by the Composition of Of india. It may however be remarked that hawaii government run lotteries make significant contributions to the state exchequer of several state governments and the Union government, and so there is a resistance to complete prohibition.
The following legislation is pertinent to gaming:
The public Gaming Act, 1867
This Act provides punishment for public gaming and for keeping of a ‘common gaming house’. This Act also authorises hawaii governments to enact laws to modify public gaming in their respective jurisdictions. The penal legislations in respective states have been amended as per their policy on gaming. However, this legislation does not have any direct have an effect on online gaming unless a large handling is provided to the definition of common gaming house so as to include virtual community forums as well.
The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (ICA)
The ICA is a codified coverage legislation that governs all commercial contracts in Of india. Under the ICA, a wagering contract is one that cannot be unplaned. The Act lays down; ‘Agreements by way of can guess are void, and no suit shall be brought for recouping anything speculated to be won on any can guess or entrusted to any person to abide by the result of any game or other uncertain event on which any can guess is made’. Gaming, lottery and prize games have held to be wagering contracts and thus void and unenforceable. While a wagering contract is not illegal, it cannot be unplaned in a court of law. Thus, the courts will not entertain any cause of action that arises out of a wagering contract.
Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998
This Act is designed with a framework for organizing lotteries in the country. Under this Act, hawaii governments have been authorized to promote as well as prohibit lotteries on their territorial legislation. This Act also provides for the manner in which the lotteries will be conducted and prescribes punishment in case of breach of its provision. Lotteries not authorized by the state have been made an offence under the Indian Penal Code. Several non-lottery playing states, like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have disallowed the sale of other state-government lotteries under this Act.
Indian Penal Code, 1860
Section 294A deals with keeping lottery office. It says that anyone who keeps any office or place for the purpose of drawing any lottery not being a State lottery or a lottery authorised by the Local government, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term that might extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.
And anyone who publishes any proposal to pay any sum, or deliver any goods, or do or forbear doing anything for the benefit of any person, on any event or contingency relative or applicable to the drawing of any ticket, lot, number or figure in different such lottery, shall be punished with fine that might extend to at least one thousand rupees.
Regulations related to gaming is also applicable to online gaming. All gaming contracts are considered to be wagering contracts and it is not possible to implement such contracts under the ICA, detailed above.
As pointed out earlier, the online lottery is the most popular form of internet gaming in Of india. Most companies marketing and distributing or performing state government-sponsored lotteries through the internet are not allowed to sell their services in the us that banned lotteries. In most cases, these marketers and distributors limit their online services to consumers who are residents of the states where a lottery is permissible. Notwithstanding the fact there is no reported case of breach by any business promoting online lotteries, most of these companies (as a safeguard) seek an undertaking from their consumers relating to their residence.
There have been instances where one state has banned the lottery of other states, including online lotteries. In a recent case, the Karnatka High Court upheld choosing one of the Karnataka government to make itself a ‘lottery free zone’ by imposing a ban on lotteries of all other states, including online lotteries under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998. Hawaii government, in this case, directed the closure of the terminals and kiosks selling the online lotteries.
Enforcement over foreign jurisdictions
If the websites are published and handled from outside Of india, it may be difficult for the Indian authorities to issue any directive to close them down or prohibit their access without the need for its blocking powers under the ITA. The authorities have little to worry about, as Indian foreign exchange laws do not permit remittances outside Of india for gaming related activity, such as the purchase of lottery tickets, football private pools and sweepstakes. As a result, a gaming website published outside Of india aiming at receiving money from within Of india cannot do so through legal channels.
Online gaming remains a nicely regulated sector with web limited horizons to grow. While the present regulatory framework makes it difficult for offshore gaming websites to target customers in Of india, the India-based companies can only distribute and market state-government lotteries online in permitted territories. The pervasive authority with the government to block gaming related websites and the impossibility of enforcing gambling-related contracts further discourage the prospects for the industry.