Online gaming has snowballed in recent years across India, even though gambling is considered an illegal activity. However, due to these laws being outdated with no reference to online gambling, the Indian government has to address concerns to help create a safe environment and minimise the negative impact of problem gambling.
The Current Situation
While there aren’t any online casinos operating within India, locals can access offshore casinos and gamble on their favourite casino games. Typically, these operators are from Europe or North America and have tailored the platforms to cater to the Indian market. The Indian government has negligible to no control over these casinos, highlighting the need for regulated online casinos in India.
The Initial Draft
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India kicked off 2024 by publishing a draft of rules that address the existing shortcomings of the country’s gambling laws. This step is the first in legalising online gambling in India, which could aid in obtaining the projected $5 billion value by 2025.
Furthermore, the government included online games in its Financial Bill of 2023, giving clear direction and guidance regarding what distinguishes games of chance from games of skill. As a result, it points to a slight admission from the Indian government for the need for taxation and other regulations. The Bill deals more with definitions than deductible taxes at source and the GST rates.
Gambling is addictive by design, and there have been several examples of it reported both in India and other parts of the world. For this reason, the government and casino operators would be wise to put measures in place to fight the social ills resulting from gambling issues.
Since the digital age has made it easier for Indians to access online casinos, the government has to realise that it’s pointless to forbid gambling. Still, it should introduce policies and processes to safeguard its citizens from problem gambling.
From the 2nd of January 2024, the Indian government has proposed rules to form part of the Indian Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code to address these issues, focusing on consumer protection.
The trouble with problem gambling is that it’s challenging to track. There aren’t any physical data available for analysis. Furthermore, there is a plethora of signs that an individual can display indicating they’re addicted to gambling. For this reason, casino operators and the government must be proactive in helping Indian players who enjoy online casinos.
When you register at a reputable online casino, its license conditions require the operators to offer players responsible gambling tools to access when they feel that gambling is taking over their lives. Typically, these tools enable players to limit the time spent on the site and the amount of money they can deposit and wager.
The Role of Know Your Customer
Every online casino enforces this process as KYC proves the identity of every player on the site. You’re informing the casino of your financial standing by submitting copies of your identity documents and bank statements. Therefore, the operators can establish if you spend more money on gambling than you earn.
Online gambling has pushed operators to examine a player’s behaviour on the site carefully. Apart from assisting with various limits, they can identify a trend in your spending on gambling. The size of your bets, cancelled withdrawals, and shifts in the timing of your activity raise flags that only online casinos can collect.
Kicking Legalised Gambling Off Positively
Their new proposed rules to regulate online gambling ensure that India’s relationship with this pastime starts well. Collecting tax from operators and players’ winnings is straightforward, but they’d have to focus on reducing the possibility of problem gambling among millions of Indian citizens.
It’s excellent that the government has decided to step in and get involved with online gambling legislation. Accordingly, the lines are drawn for casino operators and advertising agencies regarding the extent to which they market online gambling and ensure they warn players of the real possibility of addiction and other risks of the activity.