All About Online Gaming In India: Challenges and Future

Online Gaming in India

Online Gaming has become a core-industry, poised for an explosion in India. Games like Poker, Black Jack, Rummy, Roulette, Bingo, Online Casino, Sports Betting and Online Gambling has brought about a new range of fun earning. It was estimated that the Online gaming in India will see a boost of 220% by the end of 2011.

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There are so many challenges for its legality. Much of the legislation is very outdated and decidedly unclear. The idea of legalizing gambling has been a subject of debate for many years. Since the laws regarding gambling are at state as well as at the federal level, so the matter is more complex and confusing. Here we are discussing the challenges and future scope of Online Casinos In India.

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Some Games are Legal and Some Are Illegal

The laws concerning Online Gaming in India falls under the state legislative. Only states in India are entitled to formulate laws for such activities within their respective states. In India, games of skill are legal but games of chance are not. The Information Technology Act 2000 prohibits publication of information that can corrupt people, including online gambling. The fine for such an activity is Rs.100,000 or imprisonment up to 5 years. However, if you get caught for gambling online, you will be fined for INR 90,000 per day since 2009.

Online Casino Games in India

Only three states in India allow casinos – Goa, Daman and Sikkim. At first, Sikkim planned to offer online gaming licenses to operators wishing to provide services within the state. It did provide three licenses in 2010 leading to the expectation that other states would soon follow Sikkim. That eventually led to the opening up of a major online gambling market throughout India. The Sikkim state government has issued the first license to an online gambling operator i.e. Future Gaming Solutions Private Limited. Future Gaming will now be able to legally offer real money online betting and other gaming services within the state. However, Maharashtra, in complete contradiction to Sikkim’s law, has completely prohibited it.

Indian Laws Are Quite Unclear For Using Gambling Site

Major gambling sites welcome Indian customers but they are operating overseas and aren’t necessarily being governed by Indian Law. But this does not mean that it is legal to use a gambling site from within India. However, no state has opened up about the prohibition of online gambling except Maharashtra. So it remains unsure whether the activity is legal or not. People in India must use a site that is trustworthy, reputable and accepts Indian customers. Submitting money on a gambling site in a currency other than rupees falls under exchange of foreign currency. And, thus covered by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), introduced in 1999.

Banking Methods for Online Gaming in India

Indian resident can access online casinos that accept INR without the fear of prosecution. Credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers, prepaid cards, eWallets, and Cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum) are some of the Indian online casino banking methods. Each method has its minimum and maximum deposit limits. Indian legal online poker sites and India online sports betting sites can also use the same methods.

Deposition of Foreign Bookies Is Quite Difficult

“Deposition of foreign bookies” is another major problem. Most of the users use Moneybookers or Neteller for depositing online bookies. These services add a middle layer to disguise the nature of the transaction. Users are bypassing the security by depositing money in e-wallets and using it to fund their online betting account. They also keep the personal financial information protected from third-party merchants such as online casinos.

Great Opportunity for Game Developers in Future

Developers and publishers are under huge pressure to come up with interesting contents at a lower cost. The Indian Gaming Market will continue to grow in the upcoming years, as the number of users keep increasing. Also, it will generate favorable opportunities to earn from several online and media companies and other investors. Online gaming in India will see strong growth in context to revenue generation and adoption.

As per Chinese proverb, “if you must play at all, decide upon these things at the start: the rules of the game, the stake, and the quitting time.”

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