According to the courts, gambling is the charge of the value for the chance for winning the prizes. The governing element of the gambling is the chance or skill to know the type of game. The game can be taken as gambling when the luck factor dominates the result of the game. Eventually, according to the Indian courts, horse racing bets and some card games cannot be considered as gambling. The constitution of India doesn’t allow gambling business as well as lotteries the fundamental right. Nevertheless, state government do run few lotteries and make out some contributions for state exchequer of states.
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There are some of the legislations related to gambling as follows:
The Public Gaming Act of 1867
In this Act, there are punishments related to public gambling as well as to keep any common gaming house. Further, this Act even regulates state governments to pass laws related to public gambling under the relevant jurisdictions. Nevertheless, the legislation also does not have any direct effect on the internet gambling unless there is any interpretation of the common gambling house in order to include the virtual forums too.
The Indian Contract Act of 1872 (ICA)
The ICA is statutory legislation that regulates all the commercial contracts of India. Under ICA, the wagering contract is unenforceable. According to the Act, the wagering agreements are void, further there shall be no suit on any wagering agreements that are made. Lottery, prize games and gambling are considered as the wagering contracts and are hence void as well as unenforceable. On the contrary, the wagering contracts cannot be regarded as illegal, however they are unenforceable in the courts of law. Therefore, the courts never agree to any activity that comes out from any wagering contract.
Lotteries (Regulation) Act of 1998
This Act contains the structure for the organization of lotteries in India. Here, the state governments have the power to encourage and forbid the lotteries in the territorial jurisdiction. This Act even explains the ways to conduct the lotteries and prescribe the punishments under the breach of any provision. Under Indian Penal Code, the lotteries that are not authorized are believed to be an offence. There are some states like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat where the state government lotteries have been prohibited.
Indian Penal Code of 1860
The Under the Section 294A of IPC explains the keeping of lottery office. According to it, any person keeping a place or lottery for lottery purpose, though powered by state government will be punished with either fine, or imprisonment of a tem up to 6 months, or sometimes both.
In addition to this, if any person publishes any kind of proposal for any payment, or for delivering any goods, or for doing anything to benefit a person on any occasion to draw a ticket, figure or number in a lottery, will be severely punished with a fine of up to rupees one thousand.
The gambling law of course applies to the internet gambling too. All the Keluaran Sgp gambling contracts are believed as wagering contracts and hence it is impossible to enforce these contracts in the Indian Contract Act as mentioned above.
As already mentioned, internet lottery is very popular type of online gambling in our country. There are many companies distributing and marketing and even conducting government sponsored lotteries via web which are not permitted to sell any kind of services to its customers of places where lotteries are not allowed. In the majority of cases, the distributors and marketers limit the services to the online customers who reside in places where lottery is allowed. However, no cases have been reported under breach of company encouraging online lotteries.
There are many cases where a state has prohibited the lottery of the other states; this also includes the internet lotteries. According to one recent case, Karnataka High Court comes to a conclusion that Karnataka will be a lottery free zone after the imposition of ban on the other states; this also includes the internet lotteries that come under Lotteries Regulation Act, 198.
Enforcement about foreign jurisdictions
If the sites are operated and hosted from outside the country, it would be really difficult for authorities in India to subject any activity either it is regarding the shutting down or banning the access without even the usage if blocking authority under ITA. The Officials have nothing to worry as the foreign laws of India do not allow any kind of remittance that are from outside India for any gambling activity including buying the lottery tickets, or sweepstakes or football pools.
Internet gambling is a very regulated sector with very less occasions to increase. Further, the current regulation makes it even more difficult to host online poker websites and target any particular customers from India.
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