Can you play casino games in India using cryptocurrencies? What are the best games and bonuses? Find out in our IN crypto gambling guide.
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The Public Gambling Act of 1867 gives the general direction of gambling in India. This text bans gambling in a general sense. However, due to its federal nature, India is composed of states. Some states have enforced this Act, while others didn’t and decided to set their own legislation.
So, depending on the state, gambling may be authorised or not, and some games may be available while others won’t. Indian law also makes a distinction between games of skill and chance.
Games of chance are usually forbidden because the government views them as dangerous, but games of skills are considered acceptable. So, they’re defined as games that, while involving a degree of randomness, are not viewed as gambling because the talent of the player can largely influence the outcome.
All the governing laws currently in place in India predate the internet, so they can’t be applied to online gambling. For this reason, the government tries to regulate payments and local companies’ engagement in gambling activities to limit them, to mitigate success.
The crypto market is an incredibly complex puzzle every government tries to wrap its head around. Due to its anonymous nature, the Indian government knows it’s physically impossible to control its people’s interaction with the blockchain. So, instead of bluntly rejecting it, they decided to work on ways to regulate it and provide cryptocurrencies with a clearly defined legal status.
Several measures have been taken to control the crypto market. One of the latest was announced by the Indian finance minister in 2022. He declared that incomes generated from digital assets would be taxed at a 30% rate. This means that Indians can buy crypto and trade them without any legal issues.
However, when they want to sell their tokens to get fiat back, the government will consider it as an income source and will tax it. Also, if cryptocurrencies were considered illegal, the governmental authorities would’ve enforced India’s Penal Code, which would’ve resulted in arrests and fines.
It’s a tacit agreement that cryptos are legal, but nothing is officially stated. So, for now, cryptocurrencies are technically considered legal until the government decides otherwise. This means players can enjoy many casino games like dice, blackjack and slots on crypto casinos. We reviewed the bitcoin gambling site trust dice and more local crypto casinos right on this page.
Unlike the US or Australia, where gambling takes its roots in the arrival of pilgrims and settlers, India has an ancient culture dating back to Antiquity. The first traces of gambling are referenced in 430 BC, but it likely has existed longer than that. Some sources mention 7,300 BC as the origin of gambling in India. The first games described are games that can be compared to chess, board games, and gambling using dice.
Ancient tales of kings losing everything to gambling are legion in Indian history, such as Yudhishthira. Early traces of games played with nuts were quickly replaced with dice. Since gambling has never been considered taboo in Indian society, it kept evolving with some of the new elements being exported by travellers throughout the centuries, especially starting from the 15th Century.
However, the 18th Century saw a significant change in India’s political landscape with the arrival of the British Empire. Indians were then introduced to cricket. This sport quickly became popular in India, naturally leading to the growth of sports betting. This overindulgence in gambling led to the prohibition of gambling as it couldn’t be regulated at the time.
Even after being freed from the British circa 1947, India kept the restrictions in place. They considered gambling as a dangerous practice for the well-being of the people partaking in it. However, the country counts 28 states and eight union territories, which can all handle their gambling legislation as they see fit.
Outside of the state-regulated casinos, India generally forbids gambling houses. Fines and imprisonment sentences are set for both organisers and participants. However, online gambling isn’t prohibited, except if the state specifically prohibits it. Indian law also differentiates games of skill and chance, with the latter being forbidden.
Due to India’s rich culture and gambling history, the country is renowned for its unique games. Paplu, also known as Indian Rummy, is tremendously popular. This game can be played with up to 10 players with 13 or 21 cards. It’s a fun game where the goal is to end the turn with the highest score with straightforward rules, making it a timeless Indian classic.
Other card games like Teen Patti or Andar Bahar are also from India and have become so popular even foreigners play them at online casinos. At first glance, Teen Patti seems to share some similarities with poker, but once you get into it, the rules differ more than you expect. For instance, every player must wager the same amount. This means that even if you started betting, if the other player puts more on the table, then you have to place this amount regardless of your initial bet.
Andar Bahar, on the other hand, is a pure game of luck with players having to bet on one of two piles of cards.
The vast majority of Indian players use their mobile phones and generally don’t have a computer. So, the most popular games online are slot machines. These games allow for straightforward gameplay and will always load fast on any device. Slots offer instant fun, and modern games are developed with mobile compatibility in mind.
As previously mentioned, mobile gaming is massive in India. So Indian crypto casinos will have their best offers dedicated to mobile players in most cases. These bonuses can be welcome incentives with a deposit match bonus and some free spins. While match offers provide additional funds, it’s free spins that attract the most players, with the prospect of playing a popular slot for free.
Games like Andar Bahar, Rummy and Teen Patti will also be subject to bonus offers. You can find deposit bonuses to play more of these games with live dealers or cashback bonuses to cut back on a percentage of the player’s losses.