Running online gaming activities in India require compliance with e-commerce laws and regulations of India. There are many techno legal issues of online business in India that must be adhered to by the online gaming entrepreneurs before an online gaming platform is launched.
As on date the e-commerce compliances in India are really bad and Indian government and various regulatory bodies have not taken any regulatory action in this regard. Cyber law due diligence, Internet intermediary liability and cyber due diligence for Indian companies are some of the compulsory legal issues that have been ignored by almost all e-commerce players of India, including the online gaming platforms in India.
According to India’s leading e-commerce law firm Perry4Law, the most vulnerable categories that have opened their online shops pertain to online pharmacies, online gambling and gaming, electronics, etc. These e-commerce portals are not at all complying with the respective laws of these segments.
Even the Indian government is lax in implementing the regulatory and compliance requirements against these illegal online pharmacies, gambling portals and other similar e-commerce platforms.
In this entire mess a question that requires urgent answer is whether online gaming and betting is legal in India? According to Perry4Law, the golden rule for deciding whether online gambling in India is legal or not has to be judged by many factors that depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case and upon state to state. There are many states in India where gambling is legal and few where even online gambling and betting is legal. However, there are some states like Mumbai where online gambling is expressly prohibited and made a punishable offense. So it depends upon the state where you wish to carry the online gambling and betting business.
Then there is the rule of skills versus chance as laid down by the courts of India. As a general rule, where the game involves application of skill on the part of the player and the element of chance is minimal, the activity would be considered to be a game and not an act of gambling. However, the applicability of this test of skill versus chance may not be applicable to online or Internet games, betting and gambling as various judicial decisions pertaining to different sets of facts and circumstances and can be distinguished easily in subsequent litigations.
Finally, economic and taxation legislations like tax laws of India, anti money laundering laws, etc are also involved while operating online casinos, online gambling and betting and online gamming platforms. The provisions of these economic legislations are very stringent in nature and can cause great detriment to the owner or operator of the online casino, gambling and betting website.
Perry4Law recommends that to be on a safer side, it is better to comply with various techno legal laws of India while opening an online gambling, gaming and betting platform rather than facing the punitive provisions of Indian laws.
Source: Techno Legal Thoughts.