Is it legal to play the online lottery in India? A Guide

There is an overall ban on the lottery in India if it is privately held as specified by the Central government. Individuals are free to create their own laws for paper and online lottery. 13 states have currently legalized the lottery, while others have chosen to ban it.

Even though Meghalaya’s ShillongTeer is the only government-approved archery-based lottery in India, it happens offline. Playwin, which was sanctioned by the Government of Sikkim and was the only India-based online lottery, has been discontinued due to growing debts. 

However, international online lotteries that are organized abroad are safely considered legal and played nationwide because the central lottery law doesn’t specifically cover them.

So, the answer to the question of whether the online lottery is legal in India is a gentle yes. Of course, this isn’t the case in all States, as some have chosen to pass Acts specifically banning online lottery. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the information on lotteries in India? Let’s take a step back and discuss this in more detail to help you understand the basics better.

There are two main Acts that govern the legality of lotteries in India: The Lotteries (Regulation) Act of 1998 and The Lotteries (Regulation) Rule of 2010. Before you start playing the lottery, it’s important to have a basic understanding of these Acts and what they mean for you.

Public Gambling Act of 1867

The Public Gambling Act of 1867 governs all gambling activities in India and should therefore include any lotto betting websites. However, the Act is not applicable to the entire country at once as gambling is a state government issue. Each state, therefore, has its own laws on gambling. However, a few states in India choose to accept the Public Gambling Act of 1867.

In India, gambling is considered illegal in most states, with a few exceptions like Goa, Sikkim and Daman, that have chosen to write their own laws, but the Public Gambling Act has no mention of online gambling or online betting sites. This legal loophole means that legality of online gambling on websites based outside India cannot be considered against the law!

The Lotteries (Regulation) Rules, 2010 for Lotto Online

In India, Playwin was the first fully-fledged online lottery to be sanctioned by the government. It was run by the Essel Group pan-India, which meant anyone could buy tickets through any channel and play.

Under the current Rules, state governments are allowed to operate both paper and online lotteries as long as they adhere to the conditions set forth in the Lotteries (Regulation) Act.

In India, All lottery games that are electronically generated by computer and played at authorized lottery terminals are deemed to be games of chance.

In order to operate the online lottery system, the State must initially require all retail licensees operating internet-based lotteries to obtain a central computer servers license to manage and maintain central computer servers.

In short, the law in India provides for States to sell tickets for online lotteries using computers. However, it is interesting that there needs to be a mention of the sale of tickets using the web.

You can play online lottery in India by choosing lottery sites based outside India. These lottery tickets are purchased from international betting websites outside the country, and the actual lottery is also drawn outside India so that you can play the online lottery legally!

Online lottery is considered legal if it is based outside India. As per Indian law, only the state governments can run a legal lottery, so Indians must play the online lottery site on international websites.

If you’re not lucky enough to be living in one of the countries where online lotteries are legal, don’t worry. 

You don’t even need an internet connection, per se! All you need is a payment app (PayPal or credit card) and a device like a mobile or laptop, and you can buy lottery tickets to some of the largest draws in the world!

Wrapping Up

Whether you play on Indian-based or foreign-based websites, the laws governing lotteries must be distinguished from those governing online lotteries, which can only be played on websites and mobile apps.