Online gambling is a popular leisure activity in different parts of the world. And in many countries, gambling is already part of the culture and everyday life. In India, gambling has a long and rich history and according to some records, it dates back to 430 BC. The earliest forms of games are board games and dice and these were played for fun and entertainment, and at times, used to settle some disputes.
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Fast-forward today, and the entertainment value of playing the games reach new levels. And with an opportunity to collect instant wins or life-changing jackpots, gaming becomes a more exciting and lucrative proposition. However, the idea of choosing the best games online to play can be daunting due to the diversity of options from game types of software vendors. Also, there are inherent risks when you gamble online. Not all online casinos are legal, safe, and secure for all players. As a responsible player, it’s best to consider these things before you play and enjoy online gaming.
Our comprehensive guide to legal online gambling can serve as your perfect resource if you’re looking to explore real money casino sites. If you’re a beginner or don’t know where to start, then this guide can serve as your go-to resource.
In this online gambling guide, we put the welfare of players first. We have listed useful casino information and help you through the process of comparing casino sites. There’s also a review of the popular games to play and the gambling laws in India. By reading our complete resources on online gambling, you can enjoy the perks of gaming in a fun and stress-free manner.
The legality of Gambling in India
As a leisure activity, online gambling offers entertainment and opportunities to win lucrative payouts. And thanks to the availability of different games from different vendors and operators, you’ll never get bored playing. However, access to the games is not easy. In India, gambling activities including playing card games is not allowed.
There are gambling laws in place that prohibit the hosting of these activities. The gambling laws are a contested domain and there are interpretations as to what’s legal and accepted. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is the main law that governs the rules when it comes to legal gaming in India. In 2000, the Information Technology Act was passed to regulate online gambling activities, but the law did not focus or specify gambling.
What’s clear is that gambling is a state subject wherein the states are given the authority to create laws and rules regarding casinos. Currently, three states in India allow casino sites to operate. Two of these states are Goa and Sikkim. Here, real money casino games are allowed provided that the operators are registered and licensed, and players are from the area. In short, it’s legal to gamble only if you’re a resident of these states and you play in casinos located within the area.
Why You Should Play Online
Slots and popular table games are only permitted within the three states and reserved for local players. This doesn’t mean that you cannot gamble if you’re located in other cities or states. Yes, it’s possible provided that you don’t do it in physical casinos or you don’t join gambling houses. The alternative is to play online and sign up for an account with offshore licensed online gambling sites.
Online gambling, as operated by local operators are still not allowed. However, gambling laws cannot prevent you from playing at online casinos that are licensed offshore. Offshore online casinos, based on the gambling laws, can accept real money bets from Indians provided that they are licensed and offer Indian Rupees (INR) as a primary payment option for Indian players.
Although the primary reason to go online is related to legal reasons, you’ll also find other healthy reasons why online gambling is better. If you go online for legal online casinos, you’ll enjoy lower costs, convenience, variety, and the best promotions. Let’s take a look at each reason in detail:
Online gambling is far cheaper when you compare it to traditional gaming in many hotels and brick-and-mortar casinos. Just imagine the costs involved if you’re planning to visit Goa or Sikkim just to enjoy poker games or slot machines. You’ll need to set a budget for train or plane tickets, accommodation in a hotel, and your food and drinks. Also, you need to have a solid bankroll to make your trip worth it. However, it’s not the case if you play online or sign up in online gambling sites. When you gamble online, you just need your trusted device, a fast internet connection, and a bankroll to enjoy games at the comfort of your home.
Since you’re staying at home, you don’t need to dress up or worry about the stress that comes with commuting. Online gambling is safer too, especially now everyone is concerned about their health. There’s no need to travel or mingle with others just to enjoy a game of blackjack or poker. You can play at legal online casinos using your preferred device including your iOS or Android smartphones.
With online gambling sites, you can enjoy a variety of casino games as offered by different software vendors and game designers. Online casino games like slots are available in different themes, pay lines, and reel configurations. For table games, you’ll also enjoy a variety of poker or blackjack games. There’s even a live casino option that allows you to play directly against a professional dealer in real-time even if you’re staying at home.
Bonuses and promotions
Online gambling sites offer a more diverse and lucrative set of casino promotions. Since they don’t have to worry about the usual business overheads like facilities and utilities, they are more flexible in creating casino campaigns. Some of the popular bonuses and promotions you can get when you gamble online are new customer bonuses, free spins, reload bonuses, and cashback offers. Also, premium legal betting sites can give you access to loyalty points and a VIP Program. Your challenge now is comparing the offers of different online gambling sites so that you can sign up with a site that delivers the most lucrative offers.
Popular Games Online You Can Play
One of the best reasons for online gambling is your access to a diverse set of casino games. Whether you’re looking for online slots, poker, or blackjack, you can easily find the variant that you can play. Here’s a look at the most popular games to play in leading online casinos for Indian players:
With an average house edge of 1.5 percent, this card game is one of the most popular online. It’s designed as a card comparison game and the main objective in a game is to achieve a hand value of ‘21’ or beat the dealer’s hand without going over the magic number. Success in this game depends on the understanding of the different card values and your decision-making skills.
When it comes to a friendly house edge and easy gameplay, then baccarat is highly recommended. Popularized by many Hollywood movies including the James Bond series, baccarat requires you to bet on either the Player, the Banker, or a Tie. The magic number here is ‘9’ and the cards in the deck assume different values. The cards from 2 to 9 assume their face values, and 10s and the face cards assume a value of 0. The Aces, on the other hand, can have a value of 1. In this classic game, the first digit is dropped.
When you play games online, the challenge is to predict which one has the best hand value. There are three betting options available on the table: Banker, Player, or a Tie. The winning bets on either the Player or the Banker are paid out 1:1, but there’s a 5% charge on Banker bets. A Tie, on the other hand, means that both hands offer the same value and pays 8:1.
This is a popular casino game with a rich history. Named after the French word that translates to ‘little wheel, roulette offers players with a fun and exciting way to play online. Here, you simply place your bets on a single number, a group of number, color (Black or Red), or if the winning number is odd or even. Also, you have the option to play a high (19-36) or low (1-18). Once all bets are in, the croupier spins the wheel and you need to wait and see where the ball will fall.
In its online version, a Random Number Generator (RNG) determines the movement and the outcome of the spinning of the wheel. There are three popular variants of this game- the French and European (with a single zero) and the American (with double zeros). Since there’s an extra zero in the American variant, the house edge is slightly higher.
Great variety of online roulette games
Big selection of live dealer games
No monthly limits on withdrawals
Of the different games available in many online gambling sites, perhaps the most popular is online poker. The poker games played over the internet cover several card-based games where the players place bets on which hand is the best based on the accepted hand rankings and rules. In most variants, a standard deck of cards is used. However, there are variations in rules particularly on the number of cards dealt face down, the number of cards shared by players, and the online betting rounds available.
Some of the popular variants you can play are Texas Hold’em, Omaha High, Omaha Hi/Lo, Seven Card Stud, and Razz. The game variant you can enjoy depends on the poker sites you choose. Of these variants, the most popular among enthusiasts is the Texas Hold’em.
When you play the Hold’em in online poker sites, you’ll be dealt with two cards. During the game, the dealer spreads five cards, three at once, and two other cards in succeeding rounds, which you can use to make the best five-card hand. Before and after you reveal the cards, you and the other players submit their bets. To stay in the game the participants should place the same amount of chips. At the end of the betting rounds, the best hand wins.
If there are online casino games that are considered fun, colorful, and easy-to-play, then these are the online slots. Based on the standard slot machines, video slots offer easy-to-remember rules, engaging themes and graphics, and the possibility of lucrative payouts. Instead of the use of a lever and mechanical reels, the online slots use graphical reels on computerized displays.
To gamble, simply set the wager and the number of paylines and click ‘Spin’. If you land at least three identical symbols, you collect a payout. The payout depends on the symbols you matched on the active paylines. In online slots, there are standard symbols and bonus symbols. The bonus symbols offer lucrative payouts and can activate in-game features that can reward you with bigger wins or a progressive jackpot.
Just like other real money games, slots are also offered in different variants. They vary in terms of theme, number of reels, paylines, and jackpots offered. In many online gambling sites, the most popular are the classic slots, video slots, and 3D, and progressive jackpot titles.
The classic slot machines are primarily inspired by the ‘one-armed bandits’ that you find in many hubs and brick and mortar casinos. They feature three reels, traditional design and choice of symbols, and easy gameplay. The 3D and the video slots are the modern versions of slot machines and they come with colorful themes and engaging features.
The progressives, on the other hand, are popular in many online gambling sites since they offer massive jackpots. If you’re looking for progressive jackpots, then consider popular titles like Mega Moolah, Divine Fortune, and Holmes and the Stolen Stones.
Live Dealer Games – An Exciting Alternative to Traditional Online Casino Games
With online gambling sites, you get to enjoy the casino games conveniently and comfortably. Since you’re online, you don’t need to dress up and drive to the nearest casino. Also, there’s no need to physically sit in a table and worry about the noise and the crowds. In an online betting set-up, you can place your bets and enjoy the entertainment through the use of your preferred device.
But there’s another exciting way to enjoy real money games. Thanks to a commitment to innovation and new technologies, the legal online gambling sites now offer a live casino. Under this online gambling arrangement, you enjoy the perks of both online and traditional casino gambling. In live dealer games, you can play in front of the dealer in real-time even if you’re playing at home.
In a live casino, you take part in an authentic casino action with a professional dealer and the participation of other players. This set-up is possible thanks to the use of streaming technology, fast internet connection, multiple cameras, and a purposely-built studio. Here, the table action is captured by cameras which are then streamed in real-time to your device.
In most online gambling sites, a live dealer platform is a standard offering. In these sites, you can enjoy live dealer versions of popular table games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and poker. You’ll also find themed and proprietary games that are offered by top vendors like Evolution, Ezugi, Playtech, and Netent.
Sports Betting – Follow Scores and Bet on Matches
Online gambling is not just about the classic table games, card games, and slot machines. The best online gambling sites today also offer a sportsbook, a facility that allows you to bet on sports. Online gambling laws in India also allow locals to place their bets on sporting outcomes provided that the betting sites are licensed offshore and accept Indian Rupees (INR) as one of the preferred currencies.
In online sports betting, you bet on the outcome of a match or a tournament. There are different types of bets you can play depending on your preferred sport. Of these bets, the most popular is the Moneyline or a wager on the player or team that will win the match. But if you’re looking for a challenging betting experience, you may want to sign up with sportsbooks that offer a wide variety of betting markets.
Some of the popular wagers you can make are point spread, over/under, outright, and prop bets. There’s also an option to enjoy in-play betting. In this betting arrangement, you can place the bets in the middle of the game. Live betting allows you to follow the matches in real-time and place bets as it happens. Since it’s live, the odds and betting lines are also updated in real-time.
Large selection of online casino games
Many bonuses and promotions
Dedicated customer service support
Play Casino Games or Place Bets Using Your Mobile Device
Today’s legal online casinos don’t just offer a diverse selection of casino games and bonus. These online casinos also offer a flexible and convenient way of playing the games. And this convenience extends to the use of mobile devices. The majority of the online betting sites now offer players the option to play across devices anywhere, anytime. You can do this by downloading the casino’s app from the Google Play Store or The Apple Store and install this in your preferred device.
There’s also the option to download the mobile app directly from the online casinos. You’ll be provided with step-by-step instructions on how to download and install the app. In other legal online betting sites, a web app is used. Here, there’s no need to download an app just to access the online casinos or sportsbooks. With a web app, you directly access the site using a browser and the site will instantly adjust to the screen size of your device. Whatever type of app is used, you can be sure of a flexible and comfortable way to enjoy online gambling.
Tips on How to Choose an Indian Online Gambling Site
Thanks to new technologies, diverse selection of games, and a friendly competition among operators, playing online became an exciting proposition. Also, with the laws in online gambling in India allowing bets in offshore licensed online casinos, gambling for leisure is now possible. But before you gamble, make sure you pay attention to the different options available. As they say, not all online casinos are created equal, so it’s best to research and exercise due diligence. Listed below are some tips and suggestions you can keep in mind when choosing your next online sports betting site or casino.
Play in a licensed and legal online casino
One of the first things you should consider is the remote license of the site. If it’s licensed, then you can count on a secure and safe online gaming platform. As part of the licensing requirement, these online casinos are expected to promote responsible gambling and protect players from fraud. In this site, we help connect you to highly reputable legal online casinos. We review the top Indian sportsbooks and online casinos, and we make sure that these sites are fully licensed and accept real money bets from Indian customers.
Pay attention to the availability of bonuses and promotions
If you’re faced with competing online casinos, compare them based on how lucrative the promotions are. As a standard requirement, sign up online casinos or sportsbooks that offer a new customer bonus, free spins, cashback, and reload bonus offers. Online casinos get extra points if they offer VIP or comps points programs.
Friendly cashier services
When betting online, you must have access to a friendly and secure ‘Cashier’ section. As a customer, you should be able to deposit funds using your preferred payment option. More importantly, your transactions from deposit to withdrawal should be processed quickly and safely. Most online casinos offer popular deposit options like Visa, Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, and Paysafecard. And when it comes to waiting times, a standard deposit transaction is often processed and credited instantly.
Professional customer support.
In online gambling, you’ll never know when you’ll encounter issues. To be safe, work with online betting sites that can offer you a variety of contact options. Most betting sites today offer email, Help Center, FAQs, and Live Chat as contact options for players. If possible, sign up with legal betting sites that offer 24/7 customer support.
Is it safe and legal to play online gambling in India?
Yes, it’s safe and legal to participate in online gambling in India. It’s allowed provided that you place your bets in a legal and licensed offshore online casino. If you want to gamble in a local casino, then it’s only legal if you do it in three Indian states- Goa, Daman, and Sikkim.
Is there an age requirement before I can sign up and enjoy online gambling?
Yes. As part of licensing requirements, online casinos and betting platforms should only accept players who are at least 18 years of age. Some betting sites require their players to be at least 21 years old before they can gamble.
Which site should I choose?
There are dozens of betting sites competing for players’ attention. However, not all of these platforms are created the same. As stated above, choose your next betting site based on a variety of factors including safety, security, quality of bonuses, and support. For a stress-free selection process, you can rely on our betting site and online casino reviews. Just choose a recommended site from our list before you gamble.
How can I start playing?
After choosing your site, simply click ‘Register’ or ‘Sign-up’ to create your account. Once your account has been confirmed, you can now deposit funds and gamble online. In online poker sites and other casinos, you may need to download and install first software.
Can I play games using my mobile phone?
Yes. There are dozens of Indian online casinos and betting platforms that allow you to access the games using your mobile device. With the mobile casino, you can enjoy the services and transactions anywhere, anytime. There are two options available on how to enjoy the facility. One, you can use the site’s web app that allows you to directly access the website from the browser of your device. And two, you’ll need to download and install a native app on your preferred mobile phone. Just make sure that your phone runs on an updated browser and the latest operating system for either iOS or Android.
Is online gambling safe?
Yes. If you sign up with legal and licensed offshore online casinos, then you can count on a safe gaming experience. Make sure you check out first the remote license and certifications of the betting sites before you deposit and gamble. Also, you can check if the operator uses a fully encrypted website. To stay on the safe side, check out our online gambling resources on this site. We review the best betting sites for Indian players. Just pick one of our recommended platforms to enjoy a safe betting experience.