Gambling in India over Sports: Legal Implications and Drawbacks in Legal System
Since time immemorial, we have heard of sports, usually played on a specific field. Historically, we were only aware of the fact that sports are played inside a field/stadium. But as the current generation we are assured that there are two types of gameplay- one that is played inside the field by the players and the other one which is played outside, by the ones watching it. This act of placing a bet on a sport’s event outcome is known as Sports Betting. In today’s world, sports betting has become very common. Non-athletic events like reality shows and political elections can also be covered by sports betting.
Overall craze and trend to bet on everything led in the bringing upon this activity to online platform and now online betting is one of many kinds of sports betting that can be done anywhere.
According to statistical data, every year, sports in India is watched by over 400 million people, and because of this large audience, betting has become a popular way for many people to make money. When the governing authorities noticed this activity growing with tremendous speed the legislation intervened into regulating it and several legal implications were made, the first step they took was passing The Public Gambling Act of 1867. Restricting public gambling and the operation of common gaming halls were primarily the targets of this legislation. The British Gaming Act of 1845 and the Betting Act of 1853 served as inspiration for the Act of 1867. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits and punishes public gambling and even the operation of gaming halls.
Common-gaming houses implies any house, closed space, or place where any type of gaming instruments are kept or utilized to assist the individual who claims, possesses, uses, or keeps such house, fenced in area, room, or area — whether by charging for the utilization of the gaming instruments or the house, fenced in area, room, or area itself, or in differently.
The majority of India is subject to the Public Gambling Act of 1867 and the Technology Act of 2000. Betting on sports is not allowed under these laws, but each state is free to make their own laws. Even after multiple legal implications there exist several issues which still are unresolved.
Apart from an exception made for betting on horse races, most sports betting in India are against the law thanks to The Public Gambling Act of 1867. However, in contrast to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 Indian law does not specifically prohibit online gambling. It seems that these loopholes are being used by betting companies to get Indians to bet on everything.
Online betting is available through a variety of websites, and sportsbooks let you place a wide range of wagers. Numerous legal sportsbooks can be found online, operated from jurisdictions distinct from the customers they serve. Despite the fact that bookmarks are illegal in India, a singular client isn’t restricted from setting a web-based bet with a bookmark based beyond India.
Advocate Vikrant Prachanda of the Delhi High Court has stated that if websites are being hosted on servers in countries where betting is legal, it is difficult to catch internet gambling criminals. “Enforcing the act becomes difficult if the servers are located offshore.” This was also covered in The Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules, 2009 memorandum which was published by the Government of Sikkim (Finance, Revenue and Expenditure Department) on March 4, 2009. This provides an overview of the state’s licensing requirements for online gambling. No one can be held liable for engaging in online gambling in violation of these regulations if the laws of the nation in which the website is hosted permit it.
Since each nation has its own sports betting laws, sports betting law is a confusing and complicated topic. Most of this legislation does not clearly define what is and is not legal. In fact, strict anti-gambling policies and laws have been enacted by sports organizations and governments to safeguard both the public and the legitimacy of sporting competition. However, even though it was against the law, sports gambling never lost its popularity. According to experts by the second half of the 20th century “many nations were looking for ways to allow gambling without allowing the corruption that seems to accompany it”.
Despite multiple steps and implications, the situation still seems unaltered there exist loopholes in every gambling related law enacted by government which are being misused by the operators of this gambling network. India ought to enact a specific law against internet gambling because of the above-mentioned reasons.
 Public Gambling Act, 1867, Act No. 3 of 1867.
 The British Gaming Act of 1845
 Report No. 276, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA, July 2018.
 Section 1.of The Public Gambling Act 1867, Act No. 3 of 1867,
 Hindustan Times, https://www.hindustantimes.com/india/legally-illegal-but-you-can-bet-online-in-india/story-SW04haVrqOq1MzlFBvOjiP.html, last visited om 25th January, 2025
 Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/sports/sports/Gambling-and-sports , last visited on 23th January, 2023.