Gambling nowadays is not associated with a mere recreation activity albeit it’s now taken a brand new direction into business and industry. For some it is a pleasure activity and for the others it’s a lucrative business. Although gambling is not the least bit a brand new sport that has emerged during this century, it has been a favourite of our ancestors and also the historians start the involvement into this activity to prehistoric times. It has been factually proved that even the first primitive was a gambler.
A bet can be placed in minutes. Anyone with a credit card can set up an offshore currency account with a gambling site, leaving them free to place bets 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 bets on anything from who is going to win the Nobel Prize to whether Madonna is getting a divorce or not. Bets can range from a nickel to thousands of dollars and according to whether you win or lose the amount is automatically adjusted to your account. The final balance can then either be mailed to you or left for future bets.
The law relating to online gambling in India needs to be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. At the outset, gambling, although not absolutely prohibited in India, does not receive express encouragement by policy makers. The Indian organized gambling industry is estimated to be worth around US$8 billion. While stringent laws have checked the proliferation of casinos and high street gaming centres as in many other countries, barring the state of Goa, the lottery business remains the most post popular form of gambling.
Regulation of gambling
The courts have defined gambling as ‘the payment of a price for a probability to win a prize’. The dominant element of ability or likelihood shall confirm the nature of the game. A game may be deemed to be gambling if the component of likelihood or luck predominates when making a decision its outcome. As a result, Indian courts have held that gambling on horse racing and many card games aren’t gambling. The right to undertake the business of gambling and lotteries isn’t considered as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of Asian nation. It may but be seen that the government run lotteries build vital contributions to the state funds of many state governments and also the Union government, and hence there is a resistance to finish prohibition.
The law related to gambling is also applicable to online gambling. All gambling contracts are considered to be wagering contracts and it is not possible to enforce such contracts under the ICA, detailed above.
As pointed out earlier, the online lottery is the most popular form of internet gambling in India. Most companies marketing and distributing or conducting state government-sponsored lotteries through the internet are not allowed to sell their services in the states 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 has been no reported case of breach by any company promoting online lotteries, most of these companies (as a safeguard) seek an undertaking from their consumers relating to their residence.