Lottery tickets are a popular form of gambling, and many people enjoy playing the lottery online. However, there are some questions about the legality of online lotteries in India. Can I play the lottery online? Is it legal to buy lottery tickets online?

The short answer to both of these questions is yes; you can play the lottery online in India. There are no specific laws against buying or playing lottery tickets online. However, there are some general gambling laws that you should be aware of.

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In this blog post, we will discuss the gambling laws for online lotteries in India and answer the question: where is online lottery legal in India?

Gambling Laws for the Online Lottery in India

As it stands, the power to make gambling laws in India resides with both the Central and state governments. Listed below are some of the more notable central gambling laws in India:

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The Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998

Lottery can be defined as “a random drawing of numbers for prizes, typically one where people buy chances.” The Lotteries (Regulation) Act of 1998 gave states the power to sanction lottery systems, from authorizing them to conducting and managing them within their state borders. The key features of this Act are as follows:

  • A lottery is a gambling scheme in which people win prizes based on chance.
  • The state government should hold lottery events, and all revenue should be deposited into the public account of the state.
  • The design or print on the lottery tickets should accurately reflect the legitimacy of the tickets.
  • There should be no more than six bumper draws in a year.
  • If an agent, promoter, or trader breaks any of the rules in this Act, they will be charged with a cognizable and non-bailable offense. If found guilty, they will face up to 2 years in jail and/or a fine.
  • One state’s government may enforce a ban on the sale of tickets for lotteries held in any other state.
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Indian States Where Online Lottery is Legal

The Public Gambling Act of 1867 excluded any mention of online lotteries, making them legal in India. Although some states have since made purchasing lottery tickets online through a state-run service permissible, most Indian state laws do not reference such purchases by name. Instead, most stipulate that only authorized vendors for businesses with Indian headquarters may sell lottery tickets within the state boundaries.

Now that we have looked at some of the gambling laws for the online lottery in India, let’s take a look at where online lottery is legal.

States that have legalized online lottery

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Kerala

Kerala was one of the first Indian states to legalize lottery, and the Kerala Paper Lotteries (Regulation) Rules, 2005, regulates its conduct. This rulebook contains instructions and information about all lottery events.

Goa

In India, Goa is one of the 13 states that operate its own lottery. The Goa Rajshree lottery has been legal since 1995. However, because domestic operators are only regulated by state law in India, you’re free to play international online lotteries like Powerball.

Maharashtra

The Maharashtra lottery is a government-run event held daily in India, in which many people participate in. The rules and regulations for the lottery are set by the federal government.

Madhya Pradesh

The Madhya Pradesh Professional Tax Act 1994 governs the state lottery in the region. The Act contains provisions about tax rates and penalties for non-compliance.

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Sikkim

In 2009, the Sikkim government authorized a license to the only operator of an online lottery in India, Playwin Lotto. The Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008, regulates all forms of online gaming in the state, including online lotteries.

Punjab

Currently, the Punjab government does not offer an online lottery service. However, you’re free to play international online lotteries like Powerball from the comfort of your own home.

West Bengal

The West Bengal state lottery offers a number of different draws throughout the year, including for Diwali, Holi, New Year, Puja, Rathayatra, and Nabarasha Bumper.

Assam

In Assam, gambling is regulated by The Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998, and The Assam Game and Betting Act, 1970. These acts don’t go into much detail about online gambling specifically, making it widely available to residents.

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Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh is an Indian state where playing the lottery–both offline and online–is regulated and legal. The rules concerning this are enumerated in the Arunachal Pradesh Lotteries (Regulation) Rules, 2013. Even though it’s possible to try your hands at the state-governed lottery, you can enjoy bigger draws with more money to be won if you go through foreign websites instead. Powerball, EuroMillions, and the EuroJackpot offer jackpots that amount to several crore rupees!

Meghalaya

Since its beginning, lotteries have always been popular in Meghalaya. In 2017, Meghalaya’s Chief Minister announced that the Meghalaya Excise Department would start the bidding process for appointing a distributor to market state-government lotteries.

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Manipur

The Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998 applies to state-run government lottery in Manipur just as it does for Maharashtra. However, the act only outlines laws related to selling lottery tickets within the state and not for players who buy tickets online from international lotteries.

Nagaland

The Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998 regulates Nagaland’s lotteries, while the rest of is regulated and governed by the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act, 2016. Interestingly enough, Nagaland is one of the few states in India that offers a government lottery.

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Mizoram

Mizoram was once part of Assam, but once it became its own state, The Public Gambling (Extension to Mizo District) Act, 1962 went into effect in order to confirm that they would also follow the gambling act of India. They have followed this act ever since and also decided to comply with The Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998 by creating their own state-run lottery.

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Conclusion

Each state in India has its own take on what is and isn’t legal when it comes to gambling. However, because online lottery falls into a bit of a gray area, many people choose to play international lotteries instead, where they can be sure that the game is fair and above-board. While playing the lottery is legal in most states, it’s still important to be aware of the laws in your specific state before you play.

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