Is Poker and Gambling Legal in India?
December 01, 2016
India is one of the emerging countries in terms of online poker and worth around $120. Signs are positive that this trend will continue, we already have a lot of new poker sites coming up and live tournaments have also increased in frequency. The impact is evident from the rise in demand for quality game content and India is not far from world poker domination.
As per Indian constitution, gambling comes within state subject and therefore the central act is applicable in all the states which do not have any particular gambling laws. Official licensing is also available for online poker rooms making online poker legal in India.
The Supreme Court of India clarified the definition in 1996 as "Such competitions, where Success depends on quite a substantial degree of Skill, are not necessarily “gambling”. Though there is an element of pure chance, if a particular game is predominantly a game of skill, it would still be a game of “mere skill”. However, even after this clarification, it is still not clear what games are included within the gambit of “mere skill and are not.”
In July 2013, the Pulikeshinagar Police searched the Hi-5 club, an associate of the Indian Poker Association. This case, the high court gave judgment in favour of club declaring that poker is a skill game and stated- "with regard to the entertainment of poker, but played as an entertainment of skill, license is not contemplated. The supplicant was allowed to conduct such games, provided, the same is in agreement with law."
Poker involves substantial skill and PokerBaazi have gone through loads of exposure to ensure that we remain legal. Online poker offered on our website is strictly in compliance with legislation and judicial declarations. Playing poker on PokerBaazi is legally permissible in India and we comply with Indian laws like Indian Penal Code, 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Indian Information Technology Act, 2000, the Public Gambling Act, 1867, Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) 1999, etc. We have maintained TDS policies as per govt. guidelines and issues TDS certificates to all poker players on a quarter basis. Playing on PokerBaazi would be a complete legal experience for you and for the ecosystem.