Today we will analyze the situation with the market of online gambling entertainment in India. We will consider the list of the best online casinos that accept players from India, as well as talk about the history of gambling and legal status today. We will touch on the methodology of choosing a casino, namely, what aspects to consider when selecting a casino and what to pay attention to before the deposit. Let’s analyze the most popular payment systems in India, as well as the most convenient methods of deposit in online casinos. A little talk about cryptocurrencies and their legality, as well as consider land-based casinos in India and such types of gambling entertainment as lotteries and sports betting.
Best Online Casinos For Indian People
Gambling is the bee’s knees in India. Unfortunately, running online casinos on Indian soil is a no-go, but offshore casinos are open for business for Indian punters.
Playing in these casinos isn’t prohibited and they aren’t being blocked by the government, as long as you’re using Rupees for deposits. We’ve got a cherry-picked list of top online casinos for Indian players:
The roots of gambling in India go way back before our time. The Indian book “Ramayana” talks about different games of chance, like dice, the ancient game “Aksha” played on a special board, and something akin to chess which could have had a gambling foundation. In India, there’s been a pretty tight leash on gambling for a long time, with epics describing probably fictitious scenarios where rulers lost not only their wealth, but entire kingdoms, and later themselves, in games of chance like dice.
With the arrival of British colonizers came new sports and the tradition of betting on match outcomes or races. After 1720, cricket gained a massive following, and subsequently, cricket betting. Later, horse racing popped up, suffering the same fate.
The first law regulating gambling was the “Public Gaming Act” of 1857, based on the gambling laws of 1845 and the betting laws of 1853.
The initial stance on gambling was pretty harsh; running illegal games could cost you a hefty fine or even a stint behind bars.
This law still stands even after a century and a half. Most forms of gambling are still illegal, but given the territorial division of India into many areas, there are some local variances in law. The most lenient places are Goa, Daman, and Sikkim, where you can even find some land-based casinos.
Legality and regulation of gambling
As mentioned earlier, most gambling in India is illegal, but there are exceptions for some types of games and some territories.
When it comes to the regulation of online gambling, the situation is somewhat vague, as there are no federal laws covering this. Some states have local legal acts that restrict access to gambling resources, but generally speaking, playing in offshore online casinos on Indian soil is pretty straightforward and doesn’t entail any legal trouble.
Choosing the best online casinos in India
To cherry-pick a top-notch online casino, you’ve gotta step through a few crucial hoops. We’ve already jumped through them and dropped the results at the start of the article. Still, we reckon it’s worth sharing the process with you. Kick off by checking the casino’s license and its validity. Next, hit up various websites and forums for player reviews, then scope out their customer support and operating hours. Up next, you wanna dig into their bonus policy and how well the casino plays with mobile devices, especially if you’re thinking about gambling on the go. Let’s drill down into each of these a bit more.
Legality and Safety
When scoping out an online casino, we always keep a sharp eye out for the license. Who’s it from, how much pull does the commission have, and is the license still up-to-date? There are a stack of licenses out there, but the ones with the most street cred are from Curacao, MGA, UKGC, AGCC, ONJN, and a few others.
You can’t get a clear read on an online casino or gauge the trust level without going through player reviews. That’s why we keep our finger on the pulse of various gaming forums and disputes as they come up. If a casino ain’t showing an effort to square away any beefs, we don’t add it to our rankings.
Bonuses & Promotions
All players dig extra rewards, whether they’re greenhorns or high rollers. Consequently, you wanna hunt down only those Indian online casinos that serve up the best bonus terms. Look for ones that offer juicy deals on the first few deposits and subsequent ones, as well as regular rewards for reaching specific levels in their VIP system. We value this aspect highly, and it helps us sift through the sea of online casinos to pick out the cream of the crop.
Another key factor is having handy deposit methods. Since not every player likes to spill their card details, many prefer to keep them hush-hush. For these cases, there are various e-wallets and cryptocurrencies. The more payment methods a casino has, the higher rating it snags.
The quickest way to grab the info you need is through customer support. The best Indian online casinos are always ready to dish out the info you need and help sort out any hitches. And they’re up for it 24/7, no days off.
With more and more players trading desktop computers for tablets and smartphones, a good casino will always be perfectly suited for mobile devices. It’ll have a user-friendly interface and simple navigation, along with a comfortable system for depositing and withdrawing funds.
Bonuses and promotions for Indian players
Most online casinos in India are chock-full of different types of bonuses. These include welcome bonuses and bonuses for regular players, not to mention various races and tournaments. Let’s dive a little deeper into the kinds of bonuses on offer and what you can nab from them.
This type of bonus is for the new kids on the block and usually applies to the first few deposits. It could be a deposit multiplier (like +300% on your deposit), or a specific number of free spins. Often these bonuses come as a package deal, letting a newbie snag a +300% on their deposit and 100 free spins. And this could apply to multiple deposits up to 5, which is a nice little sweetener for your bankroll.
Regular Player Bonuses
For regulars, various online casinos offer perks like a boosted cashback, which returns a certain amount from each spin, as well as different reloads and no-deposit bonuses. Worth mentioning separately are VIP systems, made up of several levels, each one rewarding you with something tasty: from free spins to instant cash payouts. The more you spin, the more points you bag and the higher you’ll climb in the ranking system, which translates to juicy rewards.
Races and Tournaments
Another thing to note is the presence of special promos tailored to certain slots. These are often called races or tournaments, run by the casino itself or various providers. The rules are usually straightforward, requiring you to play specific slots and meet certain conditions. These could be scoring the highest multiplier, total multipliers scored in each slot, or even the longest streak of blank spins.
Sports betting in India
Officially, sports betting, apart from horse racing, is off-limits in India. But the rules are pretty much focused on brick-and-mortar betting – online sports betting in India tends to fly under the law’s radar. This is mainly because there haven’t been any specific federal laws regulating notions like “online casino” or “online bookmaker.” Consequently, Indians can access offshore online casinos and sports betting. The most popular sports to bet on are:
Cricket is a sport brought over by the Brits that took off big time in India back in the early 18th century. It’s still a massive hit today, which isn’t surprising given India is a top dog on the international cricket scene.
Field hockey is another national sport that’s played all over the country. Consequently, India boasts some top-notch professional teams that regularly scoop up prestigious tournaments and even bring home Olympic gold.
Football, a sport that’s globally recognized, hasn’t bypassed the Indians who regularly kick around a ball in the courtyard and watch global tournaments, putting down bets left, right, and center.
Tennis, despite Indians not being a dominant force on the international tennis arena, is hugely popular among young people and is played in many schools across the country. So, it’s entirely possible that the upcoming generation will catapult India into the list of tennis leaders.
Chess – to say this sport is popular in India would be an understatement. It’s not just popular; a huge chunk of the country plays it. The popularity isn’t just due to the rich history of chess, but also the presence of grandmasters like Viswanathan Anand, who is the 15th world champion according to FIDE.
As a result, these sports attract the lion’s share of all bets. Estimating the annual turnover of bets is a bit of a head-scratcher due to the market’s grey nature. However, some figures suggest it’s around 60 billion dollars, over half of which are under the table.
Convenient payment systems
India offers various ways to top up your online casino account, and, consequently, a range of payment systems. Let’s take a brief look at the most popular payment systems and deposit methods:
Undoubtedly, the easiest and most convenient way to top up your account is by using a bank card. But this method has some downsides. Firstly, not all banks approve such transactions, so the transfer may be declined or sent for review, which requires extra time. Secondly, the transaction time is pretty lengthy and mainly depends on your bank. In the case of deposits, it usually doesn’t exceed a few hours, but for withdrawals, it can take up to several days.
This category includes a lot of services such as Skrill, Neteller, MuchBetter, Paytm. Generally, the logic of operation is similar – you create an account, which you then top up with your bank card, and then you send money to the casino. It’s quick, simple, convenient, and safe.
These are specific electronic cards, or vouchers, for a certain amount. Among the most popular services, it’s worth mentioning AstroPay and PaySafe Card. You can easily buy a card online by going to the appropriate website, and then use it for online purchases or casino deposits.
The Unified Payment Interface (UPI)
A nifty system available for Indian users that brings together multiple bank accounts or cards under one umbrella. It’s a breeze to use for bank transfers or various purchases, and you can even use it to pay bills or make deposits at some online casinos.
One of the newest and most convenient ways to make a deposit at an Indian online casino. To get your hands on some crypto, you need to sign up on an exchange, top up your account, and purchase the currency of your choice. Then, just send it over to the casino and in a few short minutes, you’ll be ready to hit the tables.
NOTIFY The skinny on cryptocurrencies in India is that they’re not regulated, and their legal status is a bit murky. But one thing’s for sure – there’s no outright ban on crypto transactions for citizens, so you’re free to buy, sell, and use them for casino deposits. Just remember, if you make a killing from buying/selling cryptocurrencies, you’re on the hook for taxes.
Popular gambling providers in India
When it comes to the world of online gambling, the heart of the experience lies with the gaming providers. These game-changers have pushed the envelope of innovation and excitement, shaping the online casino industry as we know it. In India, a country with a booming online gambling scene, a handful of these game providers have risen to the top, captivating players with their unique blend of thrilling gameplay, stunning graphics, and enticing winning opportunities. Let’s dive into the world of India’s most popular gaming providers, and see what makes them the cream of the crop.
This renowned Swedish developer has been in the game for 20 years and has churned out over 200 diverse slots. Indian players are all over it for its top-notch graphics and killer tunes, which, combined with some rad bonus mechanics, makes for a unique gameplay experience and a seriously good time.
Arguably one of the most creative providers when it comes to game mechanics. Despite having a smaller library of slots, the provider’s games are packed with unique X-iter mechanics that amp up the gameplay and let you bag some bonuses.
This provider’s ace in the hole is its meticulous attention to detail. This is what’s helped it create a range of colorful slots chock full of fun mechanics, which Indian players can’t get enough of.
A software provider for various casinos that also regularly cranks out its own online slots. Its sharp understanding of the market lets it create popular products that are a hit with players all over the globe.
A provider with a distinctive orange interface and seriously good graphics. Thanks to its engaging mechanics and a plethora of bonus games, it’s become a fan favorite not just in India, but worldwide.
Land-based casinos in India
In the states of Goa and Sikkim, brick-and-mortar casinos are officially on the up-and-up. All in all, there’s about 20 of them. What’s interesting is that only slot machines are permitted in these casinos, and they have to be located beachside at a hotel. However, if you’re hankering for a game of poker or blackjack, you’ll need a “floating” casino. Goa is teeming with these, which are essentially large ships kitted out as casinos with a variety of games, cruising along the Mandovi River.
The big daddy of them all is Casino Royale Goa, boasting 5 decks, 3 gaming floors, 50 gaming tables, a ton of slot machines, as well as exclusive VIP zones, an amphitheater, a bar, and even a helipad.
Another major floating casino is My Caravela, which can pack in over 300 people and boasts a wide range of games: from every kind of roulette to blackjack, Caribbean poker, and various slot machines. The casino also features a pool, a bar, a restaurant, and a special kids’ zone.
Lotteries and other gambling entertainment in India
Lotteries are legal in India and are in high demand. The most popular national lottery is Lotto India, which can be played all over the country and even beyond its borders.
Lotto India – draws are held twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 6:00 pm local time. The minimum jackpot is ₹4 Crore (40 million rupees). To play, you need to pick six numbers from 1 to 50 and one Joker ball from 1 to 5, and each panel will set you back 40 rupees. The more your numbers match the ones drawn, the bigger the payout. If only your Joker number matches, you get a free pass to the next Lotto India draw.
Number of matches
6 + Joker
1 to 79,453,500
1 to 19,863,375
1 to 75,240
1 to 1,400
1 to 75
1 to 10
1 to 5
Besides Lotto India, India offers a slew of other lotteries, often tied to a specific state. For instance, the Kerala State Lottery has a whopping seven different lotteries for each day of the week.
Ticket price, Rs
Maximum prize, Rs
₹80 Lakhs – 1 Crore
₹80 Lakhs – 1 Crore
There are also special lotteries tied to different seasons:
Christmas New Year Lottery – held in January, the prize of this lottery is usually the biggest among all the others, exceeding 12 Crore.
Summer Bumper Lottery – held in March, ticket price is 150 rupees, with a chance to win over 6 Crore.
Monsoon Bumper Lottery – held in July, ticket price varies from year to year but averages about 200 rupees. The maximum prize is around 5 Crore.
Pooja Bumper Lottery – held in November, offering a top prize of over 5 Crore.
When it comes to other types of gambling like poker, the situation in India is pretty rosy. There’s this concept of a “game of skill,” which is different from a “game of chance.” A “game of skill” means that a player’s success hinges not just on luck but on their chops.
In 2014, a crucial case went down in Bangalore. About 50 poker players were nabbed, and 10 clubs were shut down. But then the poker community took the case to court and proved that poker is a game of skill, not chance. After that, all charges were dropped, and poker became completely legal in most Indian states.
As a result, you can play poker in brick-and-mortar poker clubs and various online poker rooms, from Pokerstars to 888Poker, GGPokerok, and many others.
Reliability and safety of online casinos in India
At this time, there are no separate federal laws or regulators overseeing online casinos in India. But some states do have them. For instance, in 2021, the Meghalaya Act was passed in the state of Meghalaya, requiring all operators to get licensed before setting up shop in the physical or online market. So, the state government of Meghalaya is the regulating body.
Also, keep in mind that any decent offshore online casino is registered in a certain jurisdiction and holds a license from international regulators, such as Curacao, MGA, UKGC, AGCC, and many others. So, if you find yourself in a sticky situation and believe that the casino has breached the license rules, you can hit up the regulator that issued the casino’s license and demand that they sort it out. In most cases, if the casino really has broken the license rules, the commission will insist that the issue be resolved in your favor.
All in all, it’s worth noting that India is a massive country with a diverse population. Many Indians have a serious soft spot for various forms of gambling and regularly play them. One of the key challenges is the lack of current legislation and a forward-looking understanding of the market, which means that most forms of gambling are either under the table or only exist in certain states.
The law, dating back to the mid-19th century, is pretty long in the tooth, and often, you can sidestep it using various loopholes. And settling any contentious issues falls on the judges, who analyze precedents and make their own rulings. Online poker, being a “game of skill,” is extremely popular in the country. It’s practically completely legal and open to any adult user.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I play at online casinos in India?
You can, because there are no separate laws that prohibit playing in offshore casinos. As a result, any player has access to a wide range of online casinos from all corners of the world.
How is online poker in India?
Online poker is almost completely legal in all states. It can be played at local poker rooms as well as at reputed international sites.
What are some of the ways to deposit at online casinos?
In addition to bank cards, which are often problematic, various e-wallets as well as prepaid card systems are popular in India.
Are there any land-based casinos in India?
In the states of Goa and Sikkim there are about 20 land-based casinos, they are located either at hotels or on ships.
What is the situation with sports betting in India?
Unfortunately, sports betting is illegal in India, with the exception of horse racing. Therefore, most of the bookmakers operate in the shadows.