What Does India’s Law Say About Online Gaming and Online Gambling?

Home » What Does India’s Law Say About Online Gaming and Online Gambling?

In the eyes of the law, the difference between gaming and gambling comes down to the element of skill, says Vasundhara Shanker, lawyer and Managing Partner at Verum Legal, who has worked with several gaming companies and payment aggregators.

“An online game which does not involve skill is going to be considered a gambling activity, and not a gaming activity, for the purpose of the law,” she adds.

Which law? The Public Gambling Act, 1867, which governs penalties for “public gambling” in the country.

Section 12 of the Act says these penalties won’t apply to “any game of mere skill.”

So, the key difference, at least under the law, is that gaming which is permitted under law involves skill and gambling is left at the mercy of chance.

Just to clarify, gaming here means gaming for stakes i.e., money. According to Shanker, the exchange of money is an essential element for these games to fall under the scope of gambling laws.


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