The primary legislation governing gaming activities in India is the Public Gambling Act of 1867.
Is Poker Legal in India?
According to Section 12 of the Public Gambling Act, 1867, games that primarily depend on skill are exempt from the provisions of this Act. Both the Supreme Court of India and several High Courts in the country have affirmed that a game of skill is one where success relies mainly on the player's superior knowledge, training, attention, experience, and expertise. Such games of skill are not subject to penalties under the law. Poker qualifies as a game of skill because it necessitates psychological acumen, an understanding of statistics and probability, and strategic thinking. Bets in poker are made based on calculated odds and predictable outcomes. The outcome is determined by a combination of probability and skill, rather than just luck. Additionally, the International Mind Sports Association (IMSA) recognizes poker as a 'mind sport.' It's important to note that individual states in India have the authority, as per the Indian Constitution, to enact laws regulating betting and gambling within their jurisdictions. Many states have enacted anti-gambling legislation that aligns with the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which includes an exception for 'games of skill.' When a state has its own gambling laws in place, those laws take precedence over the Public Gambling Act of 1867. As a result, residents of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Nagaland, and Telangana are currently prohibited from participating in gaming activities on our site.