Gambling has been a core part of the Indian culture for a very long time with one of the oldest gambling laws, dating all the way back to 1867. So, you’d think that finding an online casino in India is a piece of cake. However, the contradictory laws, ambiguous terms for gambling, and the government’s decision to leave each state handle the online gambling affairs lead to a lot of confusion. We’ve put together a list of top brands in the region that accept players from India. Furthermore, if you’re looking for an online casino in Indian Rupees, you’ll find it on our list together with some very appealing no deposit bonus offers.
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Mostly functioning on laws issued in 1976, online gambling in India is far from being regulated or even properly defined. The only two states that started drafting specific laws for online gambling are Sikkim and Nagaland, however, we will cover that separately. For the time being, the only fully legal gambling activities in India are the land-based/floating casinos in Sikki, Daman and Goa, skill games (chess, rummy, etc.), horse racing bets and the state-run lotteries.
Goa is actually the first state to legalize land-based casinos starting 1999. It all started with floating casinos, and currently the state offers a good mixture of land-based and floating casinos that attract a lot of business. Goa can be considered the Las Vegas of India, with an increasing number of gambling laws focusing on land-based casinos being passed in recent years. Among those, the most important ones are raising the legal age to 21 and asking for proof of identity to keep gambling safe and fun.
Sikkim is also one of the gambling-friendly states of India. They were the first to legalize onshore land-based casinos in 2009. Furthermore, in Sikkim, it is possible to enjoy live gambling services. Compared to Goa, where this type of gambling is only allowed on floating casinos, Sikkim is much better in that sense. From an online gambling perspective, Sikkim is a pioneer since it’s the only state to allow legal online gambling and sports betting.
Lastly, Nagaland is another Indian state where steps are being taken towards legalizing online gambling. They were the first ones to issue a license for an online poker operator even though the definition of games of chance or skill games was seriously bent to achieve that. To apply for a license in Nagaland, the entity must be based in India, have no criminal records, pay the application fee of INR 50,000, and another fee of INR 1,000,000 per year for each type of game offered.
When talking about land-based gambling services, the legal gambling age across India is 21 – the only exception being the state of Sikkim, where players can gamble online starting 18 years of age – and winnings from gambling are considered personal income. And, according to the Income Tax Act of 1961 and the Finance Act of 1994, which work together as the income tax on gambling winnings in India, a tax of 30% is applied.
Also, despite a very confusing organization of online gambling within the country, the Indian authorities make it difficult for casino enthusiasts to access international online casinos. Through the Information Technology Act of 2000, the government is allowed to force ISPs to block any foreign online casino. Luckily though, this act was never really enforced, and Indian casino enthusiasts can still access foreign online casinos without risking any countermeasures.
Referring strictly to gambling laws in India, both on federal and state levels, there are certain key legislative movements that shaped the gambling landscape in this region. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 was the first important law regarding gambling. The pre-independence legislation prohibited public gambling venues and referred to punishment for those hosting such a gambling house and the ones visiting it. However, a major aspect of the law is the clear distinction it made between games of skill and games of mere chance. And despite most states accepted the law with amendments regarding racecourse gambling, the state legislation prevails over this law.
The only Indian states to make provision for online gambling, Sikkim and Nagaland, are pulling the entire country forward with their open-minded approach. In 2016, both states amended their laws to make room for online gambling. The Golden Gaming International company was the first one licensed by the state of Sikkim to offer online gambling services in India, but residents of the state were not allowed to access them. Nagaland also allows licensed individuals to offer gambling services online based on the Regulation of Online Games of Skill Rules Act issued in 2016. And while online gambling isn’t defined to the letter, there is a mention of fantasy games online.
Since we mentioned state laws have authority over central ones, we’re giving you insight over the most important state laws in India. And Goa is one of the first states to make a move towards legalizing land-based casinos in 5-star hotels and offshore vessels. The act that made it all possible is the Goa, Daman, and Diu Public Gambling Act of 1976, and it’s the first such legislation to talk about 5-year licenses and fees applied to operators.
On a federal level, online casinos are not legal in India. The pioneer states of Sikkim and Nagaland enacted laws to allow Indian players to access online casinos, and they’re the only two states where online gambling is allowed. However, no matter the state you’re living in, accessing internationally legal casinos in India is not punishable by law. Local enthusiasts have been enjoying their favorite online slots and table games on international brands for years now, without any repercussions.
Since online casinos are not regulated on a centralized level, knowing how to spot an international online casino that is capable of providing high-quality services to Indian players is vital. In that sense, some core attributes are important such as, Indian Rupee acceptance and all payments that are popular in the region. Here’s what you should be looking for.
Choosing to play on brands accepting Indian rupees comes with multiple advantages. And the great news is that many of the casinos on our list offer INR as standard currency. You won’t have to worry about converting and facing extra fees when playing on Royal Panda, Leo Vegas, or 1xSlots. Furthermore, using your local currency means you always know exactly how big a bonus is and how much you should expect when you request a withdrawal. Other top-class online casinos accepting INR are Playamo, Energy, and Yako Casino.Best INR Brands
With the Payment and Settlement Act of 2008, the Indian authorities have tried and succeeded in blocking card payments towards international online casinos. The act authorized the Reserve Bank of India to cancel all transactions from and towards casinos that were not licensed by the states of India. As a result, Indian casino enthusiasts switched to ewallets, and any online casino that wants to have a fighting chance in the region needs to come with a solid offer of those for both deposits and withdrawals.
Skrill and Neteller are the go-to payment options in the region. Both ewallets work with the big banks in India like the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, or SBI. Adding funds directly from your bank account to either Skrill or Neteller comes without a fee. There’s also no tax when you deposit with these ewallets to casinos, and the transaction is instant. Withdrawals via Skrill and Neteller are comparable when talking about transaction time – around 24 hours. However, Skrill comes with a fee of 7.5% when withdrawing funds from your account to a credit card + a fix commission of 380 rupees. On the other hand, Neteller applies a 2.5% fee for withdrawing funds.
Other popular international payment options are also available at any given online casino India on our list. MuchBetter, Astropay, Webmoney, or ePro are some of the payment methods locals use to top up their accounts.
Recently, more local payment options started being developed. KWICKGO and IMPS via ECOBANQ are two relevant examples in that direction, allowing players to deposit straight from their bank account. However, these can’t be used for withdrawals as well and are not widely available at online casinos. Using cryptocurrency to make deposits and request withdrawals is another option for Indian players that are seeking fast processing times and complete anonymity in the process.
With so many casinos targeting the Indian market, offering no deposit bonuses is the best way for them to stand out and be more appealing. This is excellent for a local player looking for a no deposit bonus casino in India, and the rewards vary from sets of 15 free spins on popular games like Starburst or up to 800 INR if the offer’s in free money. Both forms of the no deposit bonuses can generate nice wins and a great experience.Top Indian No Deposit Promos
We’ve covered all the main attributes that a good online casino in India should offer, so that you will enjoy a top experience. However, the list doesn’t end here. There are some more things to check – more of a matter of taste – and we’re listing those as well. Given the fact, that India seems to be a region that more and more brands target, we believe players now have the chance to get pickier as to what site they choose, as variety is quite diverse now.
Out of all the online casinos targeting India, some managed to quickly make a name for themselves in this market and score high in popularity. And trust us when we say that success lies on delivering an experience that’s as localized as possible. The following brands are doing awesome in that sense. Let’s check why they are one step higher than their competition and in what aspects.
LeoVegas is huge in the online gambling industry, so it’s no wonder Indian players love the brand as well. Especially considering the multiple perks they can enjoy here such as INR currency, a full list of ewallets for deposits and withdrawals, as well as all the popular live dealer games like Andar Bahar.
Royal Panda is another top casino accepting Indian players. Not only are Indians allowed to enjoy their favorite games here, but they can also deposit in INR, choose from a wide list of ewallets and instant depositing methods, as well as enjoying a vibrant offer of live table games and online slots from top software providers.
With the complicated legislation regarding casinos in India, the land-based ones are the only ones licensed to operate in the country. However, no matter how big and diverse their offer is, the comparison with the international online counterparts puts them in a much inferior position.
The most important land-based casino in Mumbai is the Deltin Royale. Here you can enjoy mainly table games like blackjack, roulette, poker, Sic Bo, Baccarat and Casino War. Unfortunately, the casino doesn’t offer any slot games, which makes the offer incomplete right from the start compared to any online casino out there. Boasting huge amounts of online slots, casinos like 1xSlot, LeoVegas, or Betrebels definitely top the Deltin Royale. If you’re looking for a floating casino, the Costa Cruises – neoClassica is your best bet. With 6 table games and 59 slot machines, this venue is also not comparable with top online counterparts like Yako casino of Hyper casino.
Compared to Mumbai, Goa is a much more permissive state when talking about gambling. However, despite having around 6 gambling facilities offering a total of 120 slots and 94 table games distributed over land-based and floating casinos [ Casino Pride and Casino Pride 2], the diversity is still not enough to rival international online casinos. 1xSlots alone boasts over 3,000 online slots, table games and live dealer games that can be enjoyed from the comfort of a player’s home. Furthermore, online casinos like Energy Casino or Playamo also offer huge welcome bonuses, compared to the land-based or floating venues which have none.