Gambling in India: the backstory
For hundreds of years, people have gambled on the Indian subcontinent. From the smallest of villages to the biggest of palaces, people played traditional Indian games such as Andar Bahar and Teen Patti. For centuries, maybe even millennia, these games were played without any gambling laws to regulate them.
After the arrival of the British, and after having effectively colonized the entire Indian subcontinent, the British authorities decided to impose their own morals and ethics upon the Indian population by enacting the country’s first gambling law by the mid-1800s. This was to become known as The Public Gambling Act of 1867. The first law in India to outlaw gambling completely.
More than 150 years have passed, and our government has done nothing to change or amend the ancient law of 1867. Even to this day, the law is in effect in most of India, except for a few states that have chosen to enact their own local gambling regulation.
But how does this law take into consideration the issue of online gambling in India? The answer is: it does not. Online gambling was not a thing back in 1867, so the law makes no mention of online gambling.
So does it mean that because online gambling is not mentioned in the law of 1867, that we should assume online gambling to be legal in India? Well, technically yes. We cannot assume otherwise. If our government wanted online gambling to be illegal, they would have amended the law.