A Brief Introduction to Indian Lottery Law

If you are buying lottery tickets online or offline, you might ask yourself, is lottery legal in India? Well, the legality of online lottery is a matter of discussion. This is the reason we have compiled this article. We will help you learn more about the Indian lottery and the laws related to it.

Historical Background of Indian Lottery Laws

Gambling in India is a pretty controversial topic. It is something that is not agreed upon by various states. As a matter of fact, every state in India has the right to determine if it wants to legalize various forms of gambling. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 is the federal law prohibiting both operating a public gambling house and visiting a gambling den.

The Kerala State Lottery had been the first state-run lottery. It was launched in 1967. At the same time, unlicensed and private lotteries had been strictly banned in India. The Kerala State Lottery had been largely successful. So, the same business model was followed by many other states for generating revenue through regulated gambling. Even though a few state lotteries have moved from the Kerala lottery style, many have followed the same model pretty closely with special bumper lotteries and weekly draws.

Is Lottery Legal in India?

The lottery has been a part of Indian culture for a very long time. In fact, several people have tried their luck at the lotteries run by the state government. There are 13 different states where government-sanctioned lotteries are completely illegal.

However, when it comes to online lotteries, the Indian legislation isn’t very clear about the regulations. It can be a little confusing for people who want to play online.

The lottery law varies with the type of lottery you are looking for. For instance, when it comes to the physical lottery, it can only be played in 13 states which have already legalized the lottery. So, in these 13 states, the state government operates their own lottery. You will be able to buy these tickets in person and not offline.

Don’t get fooled by ‘India play lottery online’ or ‘buy state lottery tickets online’ as these have primarily been created to con people.

Other than the state government authorized lotteries in these states, Indians can’t play the physical lottery in India. The states that have legalized lottery are as follows-

  • Manipur
  • Kerala
  • Maharashtra
  • Goa
  • Punjab
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Meghalaya
  • Assam
  • West Bengal
  • Sikkim
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • Arunachal Pradesh

What Is the Status of Legality of Online Lottery in India?

You can legally and safely engage in an international online lottery by choosing a lottery site based out of India. As you buy lottery ticket online from offshore ties, the tickets are from outside the country. So, the lottery is also drawn outside the country. Hence, you will be able to play the online lottery legally in India.

Online lottery is only taken to be legal when it is based outside India. According to Indian law, state governments can operate and run a legal lottery. Indian players have to play online lottery on international sites.

But since the lottery is being played outside Indian jurisdictions, even people belonging to states where a lottery is taken to be illegal can take part in them.

To play the India lottery online and buy the ticket, you need to have a device from where you can connect to the internet and an active internet connection.

India’s Lottery Regulations

When you play online lottery, you get to choose from two types of lottery websites- online lotto agents or the one practising lotto betting.

Let’s take a look at the difference between the two,

  1. Online Lotto Agents

You will come across many online lotto agents. These lottery sites help in buying legal lottery tickets to international lotteries. Hence, the website would get a physical ticket from the international lottery ticket on your behalf and send you a copy of the same ticket. In case you win a prize, the website will help in claiming the win. But these sites charge a convenience fee or transaction fee.

  1. Lotto Betting Sites

Lotto betting sites let you place your bet on some lottery ticket numbers. This means you are not buying the lottery tickets. Rather you are placing a wager on the number you think is going to win. If this happens, the lotto site will pay you to win. So, the number you have chosen is drawn out in the lottery, the lottery site is going to pay you directly.

Legislation You Need to Consider

There are two pieces of legislation that you need to consider before you play India lottery safely.

  1. Public Gambling Act 1867

The Public Gambling Act 1867 is the law governing all types of gambling activities in India, including lotto betting sites. Even though it is not applicable to the whole country, many Indian states chose to accept it.

The Public Gambling Act takes any type of gambling in a public gaming house to be an illegal activity. So, most Indian states consider gambling to be illegal.

But the loophole is it doesn’t mention anything about online gambling or playing on an online betting site. Thus, if you take part in lotto betting on sites that are based outside India, it is not considered to be illegal.

  1. Lotteries Regulation Act 1998

This act had been created by India’s central government for creating a set of rules governing any lotteries that can be drawn in the country. According to this Act, just state governments can conduct official lotteries in their own states.

The Act states that someone from a state where a lottery is illegal cannot buy a state lottery ticket from some other state. But since online lottery tickets are bought online, they are all drawn outside India.

Bottom Line

So, you know you can buy lottery ticket online. However, you need to make sure that you have chosen the right site. Choose only those sites that sell international lottery tickets. Also, make sure that they offer reliable payment methods.