Here, we rank and review the best Indian online casinos for real money. We also cover the legal aspects of gambling for real money in India.
India is one of those countries where its citizens could be forgiven for not truly understanding what is legal, and what isn’t when it comes to online betting. In comparison to the rest of the world, online gambling is a relatively new concept in India, and because of this, the laws surrounding it aren’t evident. Despite this glaring issue, many of the world’s most famous online casinos and betting sites have eagerly set up shop, catering to the massive population the Indian market has to offer. Over the following sections, we will look at India’s gambling laws, its most renowned casinos and just what you can expect when you decide to play at Indian casino sites. With that said, let’s begin…
Can I Gamble Online in India?
The natural place to begin exploring the Indian online casino and gambling world is to start with its laws. Is gambling online legal in the sub-continent? The answer is just a muddled as you might expect. Yes and no.
Officially, only three Indian states have formerly endorsed gambling. They include:
For the most part, these states permit land-based and “floating” casinos, with horse racing, rummy betting and lottery games all acceptable. The situation when it comes to online gambling is a touch different, where casino and poker gameplay is typically banned. It is worth noting that the Indian ban on online gambling only really applies to Indian-based gambling enterprises. Offshore and foreign casinos, therefore, do not fall under the jurisdiction of this ban. That leads many millions of Indian players to gamble online at those casinos.
A Look at India’s History with Gambling
India’s initial gambling laws come from the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This law is still in existence today, where fines of ₹200, or three months imprisonment can be meted out to those who visit run such establishments. Fines of up to ₹100 or a month in prison are the penalty for visiting such venues. However, many of India’s states have the authority to take their own stand on gambling, and those such as Daman, Goa and Sikkim have legalised gambling in some forms, as mentioned above.
The Information Technology Act of 2000 was meant to regulate online activities. However, as it didn’t contain gambling (India was late to the scene, as mentioned), it does not span betting activities on the net. Some regions, such as Maharashtra have added their own laws, such as the Bombay Wager Act, to prohibit betting online. Most states haven’t. There was the Federal Information Technology Act (FIT) which sprang up in 2011, and it attempted to restrict online betting activities to a degree. It can hardly be called a success.
Because of the “underground” betting scene and the money it brings thugs, many Indians have requested the government to legalise and regulate gambling. However, most Indian governments thus far have been opposed to doing so, for fear of increasing gambling addiction in the country.
Online Gambling in India
If you want to see at what online gambling would look like if it was legalised and regulated in India, look no further than Sikkim. The Sikkim Online Gaming Regulation Act of 2008 and follow on rules in 2009 set out those terms. Moreover, in 2014, the state’s government issued its very first e-gaming license. If you live in Sikkim and want to play online, it is legal to do so at any Indian casino bearing such a license.
Of course, this doesn’t do much good to players who don’t live in Sikkim. So, what possibilities are open for those players? We know that Indian players do gamble online. After all, over $60 billion a year is wagered – most of it illegally – on gambling games. The only option which is open to Indians who want to bet online when they shouldn’t is to visit foreign and offshore casinos.
There are one or two financial restrictions in place (courtesy of the acts mentioned above), which try and prohibit Indians from processing financial transactions between themselves and offshore casinos. There are ways around that, though, and many sites have taken to offer these alternative payment methods. There is also no punishment for Indians visiting such casinos, nor foreign operators providing such services. Because of this, many leading internet casinos (and we’re talking about major brands here) have started to open themselves up to the Indian market.
Why Play at an Indian Online Casino?
An Indian casino may not necessarily be one which is licensed out of an Indian state. They could be (as many are) offshore and foreign casinos, as mentioned. The most obvious reason why you might wish to play at an Indian online casino is that you aren’t supposed to. Blocks on land-based gambling and online gambling will always see populations decide to find a way to bet if they want to, as we have seen in other countries. However, casinos which aim their services at Indians are more beneficial. The primary reason for this is that go out of their way to offer Indian-friendly payment methods, games which Indians will find attractive, and the Indian rupee currency.
Here are a few other top benefits to choosing an Indian online casino:
- Bonuses and Promotions: Indian casinos will typically pack a variety of top promotions and bonuses for their players to claim. In many cases, they will include multi-tier match deposit welcome bonuses. It is not uncommon to find a variety of big-money deals when you first sign up at an online casino catering to Indian players. Moreover, many of these sites will offer these bonuses using the Indian rupee (INR) currency.
- Indian Favourites Can Be Played: Casinos which cater to Indian players will carry the same types of games you will find at other online casinos. However, many of them will also go the extra mile to ensure that popular Indian games are available to play, too. This means that you should be able to find Jhandi Munda, Teen Patti and Andar Bahar in amongst the other popular RNG (random number generator) and live dealer table games at the casinos.
- Indian Friendly Options: As mentioned, India has a few blocks on financial transactions at casinos. With that in mind, it is worth guaranteeing that you play at an Indian casino, as they are most likely going to be able to help you get around those blocks. For instance, they can provide the Indian rupee currency, and they will carry payment methods which do not fall under the scope of the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) and other Indian laws.
- Support and Assistance: A good Indian casino will be able to provide you with support and assistance. One of the perks of playing at a casino which is dedicated to catering to Indian players is that they will offer gameplay in English and sometimes in Hindi, too. On top of this, it should also be possible to obtain assistance in those languages. In many cases, live chat, e-mail and toll-free telephone support will be available around the clock, and an FAQ (frequently asked questions) guide may also be included.
Finding the Best Indian Online Casinos
There are many ways that you can find a top Indian online casino to play at. In some cases, opting to play at domains which a friend has recommended could be ideal. You are unlikely to see too many Indian casinos advertised in newspapers and on television, so you might not know where else to begin. Fortunately, there is a set of criteria you can apply to find the best Indian online casinos to play at.
Once you think you’ve found a casino which fits the bill, hold it up against the following criteria to see if it still checks out. All top Indian casinos will score well against the following tests:
- Safe, Licensed and Secure: Indian states such as Sikkim offer gambling licenses to local casinos. However, if you wish to play at an offshore casino, they won’t feature state-issued licenses. They should still be licensed all the same. Ordinarily, Indian casinos which are licensed out of the UK, Malta, Gibraltar or Curacao are the most secure and safe.
- Transparent Terms and Conditions: Like any casino, you’re going to want to ensure that your chosen site has transparent terms and conditions. This ideally means that you can see everything (all rules) associated with any bonus you’re thinking of claiming. Top Indian casinos will offer low wagering requirements and decent maximum cashout caps. It is worth double-checking to ensure that a casino’s bonuses and promotions can also be claimed by those residing in India before you to attempt to snap them up.
- Withdrawal Terms: Shady casinos tend to have low withdrawal caps and may charge a fee for cashing out your winnings. You’re not going to want any of that. There are plenty of top sites out there which offer free withdrawals, can process your winnings speedily, and aren’t going to put restrictive cashout caps in place, either.
- Go for the Big Names: Some of the internet’s biggest and best global operators are involved in the Indian online casino market. Opting to play at any of these casinos virtually ensures that you’re playing at the best in the business. These are the names which receive rave reviews elsewhere in the world. It won’t be difficult for you to spot these sorts of sites.
- Great Games: As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of top games you can play at Indian online casinos. You’ll get the same great mix that you’ll find elsewhere in the world. However, you’ll also likely get a few Indian specials, such as Andar Bahar and Teen Patti, too. Indian casinos are notable for offering up games from software providers, including some local ones. It is not uncommon to see over a thousand, sometimes more games at a decent Indian online casino site.
Yours Questions Answered: Our FAQs on Indian Online Casino Gambling
In this final section, we will attempt to answer some of the most asked questions relating to Indian internet casino gaming.
- How do I pick the best Indian online casino?
On this site, you will find an ample number of recommended Indian online casinos, all of which are amongst the best in the business. On top of that, you can use the criteria listed directly above to find top Indian internet casinos on your own.
- Is it illegal for me to play at an online casino in India?
Yes and no. Gambling is legal in a handful of Indian states (those listed above), but online gambling isn’t amongst the legal betting options you have open to you. Playing at foreign and offshore sites is technically illegal, too, but there are no real laws preventing you from doing this, so it is something of a grey zone. However, this is a grey zone which many millions of Indian players take advantage of annually.
- How old do I have to be to gamble in India?
In the few states where gambling in India is legal, you need to be aged 21 years or older to gamble. This is the case for all forms of gambling, without exception.
- Can I trust offshore casinos?
Any of the significant, world-renowned internet casinos which cater to Indian players (and there are many) can be trusted. However, any top Indian casino which fulfils the criteria listed above is also likely to be fair. You should always do your homework, though, as there are some offshore casinos which are to be avoided.
- What deposit/withdrawal methods can I use at Indian casinos?
Restrictions on gambling-related financial transactions are often in place, but these mainly apply to transfers made using Indian banks and cards. E-wallets, prepaid cards, and even cryptocurrency payment methods have been used to get around such transactions. Ordinarily, you won’t find issues in this regard at Indian casinos.
- Can I claim bonuses at Indian casinos?
Yes. Many of the best Indian betting sites will not only provide bonuses but a wealth of them and with fair terms and conditions. You should always check those before claiming an offer, and only claim bonuses which can be snapped up using the Indian rupee currency, as you’re more likely to “see the value” in the promotion, than if it was in a currency you aren’t familiar with.