Lottery, has a very ambiguous status in India.

What’s the legal status of the lottery in India?

Indians are fond of gambling. It is one of the most pleasurable pastimes of Indians. A particular game can’t be categorized as gambling when there’s no money involved. However, India has a strict gambling law, which hinders many people from participating in gambling activities. Only a few states in India allowed gambling. As the world continues to evolve, technology has a huge role to play in the status of gambling, specifically lottery in India.

Today, there are lottery companies operated in India. The majority of these lottery companies operate online and offline, giving Indians the freedom and convenience to participate in such activities. However, before participating in any lottery events in India, you need to know a few important things, and we will discuss them below.

The legal status of lottery in India

Every state in India has the option to legalize lottery activities. The Central Government of India has authorized states to come up with their own law, according to the Lotteries Act of 1998. As of the moment, some Indian states already legalized lottery while some don’t allow lottery or any gambling activities, for that matter.

When it comes to the status of online lottery, there is no concrete law governing it. It has put online gambling activities in the grey zone – not legal and not illegal, which is a bit confusing. To somehow set things straight, online lotteries held outside India’s jurisdiction is considered legal such as Mega Millions, US Powerball, Euro Millions, EuroJackpot, and Mega-Sena. Indians can participate in these online lottery activities through lotto betting sites and ticket messenger services.

Be wary of participating in online lotteries owned and held privately in any Indian resident as illegal, and you could be held liable and accountable. Before participating in any online lottery activities in India, you have to ensure legality so as to prevent yourself from any legal implications. Currently, there are 13 Indian states that legalized and authorized government lottery activities. These are Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Sikkim, Punjab, West Bengal, and Goa. Goa is where most of the online and gambling activities take place, but Goa Computerised Network Lottery Rules must be observed religiously.

The states mentioned above have a dedicated lottery department and are supervised by the Finance Department of India.  Each Indian state where online lottery is legal has its own schemes and draw schedule and is publicly held using a huge lottery machine. The winning number is generated randomly to ensure fairness.

When it comes to distributing winning, the lower-tier prizes are released by authorized ticket sellers, while the Finance Department of India distributes the top prizes. When claiming the lottery prize, the winner needs to submit the lottery ticket in excellent condition along with other documents such as proof of identity.

Aside from the basic rules you have to know beforehand, you must also familiarize yourself with accessing lottery tickets. Some states allow the sale of lotto tickets other than their own lottery tickets, while others don’t. A perfect example is the state of Kerala; it does not allow the sale of lottery tickets from other states. On the other hand, Punjab allows it.

Online lottery tickets/online international lotteries 

Online lotteries are not new in India, especially for lotto lovers. Sikkim launched one of the online lotteries enjoyed by Indians in November of 2001 under the name Playwin. The operator of Playwin, Essel Group, ran into debts leading to the closure of Playwin. Fortunately, Indians can now participate in online international lotteries. These are lotteries organized by lottery operators outside India’s jurisdiction. To participate in such lottery draws, you have to find a site that sells lottery tickets. Another way of taking advantage of online lottery is to bet on the outcome of the draw. 

Although not regulated by the Indian Government, online international lotteries are deemed legal because Indian residents do not privately organize them. To back up the legality of online international lotteries in India, The Lotteries Act of 1998 does not mention online lotteries. Hence, it is safe to say that online international lotteries are legal in India. If you are going to participate in online lottery draws, one important thing to consider is the reputation of the lottery site. Choose a lottery site that has already established a stellar reputation, something that has been in the industry for quite some time now. Check the legality of the site that sells lottery tickets, as some sell fake tickets. It would be best to read feedback and reviews to know which site sells legit lottery tickets and which site to avoid. Conduct a thorough research and understand how lottery draw works so you will be able to come up with an informed choice.

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