Knowing the Laws Regarding Online Gambling in Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan

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One of the most rapidly growing industries on the planet are the online casinos. This has not only become a great way for players to be able to enjoy their favorite casino-style games from the privacy of their own home, but also has become a great source of revenue for many countries. The taxes alone have been a huge bonus for these countries.

However, not every country has been receptive to the idea of offering licensed operators to provide these games to residents. This is especially true in many Southeast Asian countries.

Gambling in Pakistan Is Available

Pakistan is one of the most populated countries on Earth with a population of over 220 million people, making it the fifth most populous country. This is a country that was founded on Islamic principles as the vast majority of residents are Muslim. This makes Sharia Law a significant part of the constitution and the laws of Pakistan.

For many years, gambling was outlawed in Pakistan. This is strictly forbidden under Islamic Law, but one would have to be naïve to believe that it was not going on despite the prohibition. There were many illegal operators offering the practice, but there are also legal online casinos, such as JackPot City Casino available for people living in Pakistan. Similar online casinos can be found on, a very popular website that promotes the best online casinos available in the country.

The advent of the internet has opened the door for online casinos to operate within the country. While not specifically licensed to do so, because Islamic law forbids this, it is common for many in the country of 220 million to use online facilities.

How to Gamble in Pakistan

The sites that are available to Pakistani citizens are primarily found in Great Britain. This includes such well-known sites as Betway, JackpotCity, GamingClub, 888Casino, OmniSlots, and Ruby Fortune. Each of these offers some form of welcome bonus to entice customers to use their service.

There are many payment options that are available, including using one’s bank to transfer money. Online e-wallets are also available for use.

It should be noted that gambling in Pakistan is still technically illegal. The 1977 Prevention of Gambling Act that made gambling illegal in the country is still in effect, and therefore there are not physical facilities in Pakistan. This law applies to online gambling as well and there have been some who have prosecuted for using one of these sites, but these prosecutions are extremely rare. If one is careful and discrete, it has not been an issue. It is those who have been careless who have most often been arrested.

Gambling in India Is Available

Oddly enough, while not being an Islamic nation, many of the same barriers that occur in Pakistan are true in India as well. With very few exceptions, most forms of gambling are outlawed in the world’s second most populous country. This includes the use of online casinos.

According to the country’s constitution, it is up to the individual Indian states to determine if they want to offer gambling. That has led some states to allow for lotteries, but games of skill have become an entirely different story. There has been great opposition to allowing for these types of games.

However, games of chance have been gaining great acceptance in the country. This includes in Goa, one state that has allowed games of chance in casinos that are operated offshore. This was allowed as part of the Sikkim Casino Games Act of 2004.

Sikkim is the other state where casinos are allowed. There are two land-based facilities there as well. They have been pushing to allow for online gambling but that may be years away from being legalized.

While there are strict prohibitions against most forms of gambling, there are several cases for the courts that could drastically change the way gambling is addressed within the country. It could mean that more states become eligible to offer casino style games, or that only certain games will be allowed. Those that are considered games of chance. It could also mean that Goa or Sikkim increases gambling allowances, but no other state. There is definitely a lot of uncertainty involved at this point.

Is It Legal to Use Online Casinos in India?

The problem with online gambling in India is that there are no laws that specifically addresses this issue. Most of the current laws that are in effect come from the Public Gaming Act of 1867, long before computers were even invented. The Information Technology Act of 2000 discusses illegal uses of one’s computer, but no specific reference is made to online gambling, likely because these was virtually non-existent at that time.

The national government has informed internet service providers that they are to bar residents from using foreign based betting and gambling sites. There are none currently operating in India, but there are several options available in nearby countries, and some are taking advantage of this. It is still illegal to do so, and a person could face severe penalties for breaking the law.

Two states have introduced bills looking to allow online gambling. As mentioned, Sikkim is one of those states. They have granted themselves the authority to issue licenses to operators wishing to legally offer their services in the state, but the process has been slow. Maharashtra has been much slower to act and they are likely years away from any legislation passing to even authorizing the issuing of licenses.

What this means for most Indians is that they can gamble online using foreign-based sites, but they are doing so at their own peril.

Gambling in Sri Lanka Is a Hodge Podge

While India has been hostile toward gambling for the most part, Sri Lanka took a hand’s off approach for many years. For decades, gambling was allowed with no government regulation at all. This meant that casinos opened and were quite successful, but there was very little, if any, oversight of them. This was good for the casino, but often bad for the player who had no governmental recourse if they had a problem.

That is no longer the case, however. After a civil war that lasted nearly three decades, Sri Lanka wanted to do all they could to attract tourists to the beautiful island nation. This led to the creation of a series of parliamentary regulations, which included regulating the gambling industry.

As part of the laws, the national government gained the authority to issue gaming licenses. Those businesses operating without a license face heavy fines, and officials face a prison term of up to five years. This was meant to send a message that only licensed operators would be conducting business, a move that was focused on giving tourists peace of mind that they could trust the establishments where they were playing.

Online Options Available

With a government already receptive to gambling, it was only natural that online casinos and sportsbooks would be authorized to operate as well. This has opened the door for several sites to be available. While similar casinos can be found on sites saying they operate in Pakistan and India, these online casinos have the full backing and licensing of the Sri Lankan government, ensuring that players do not have to fear facing any legal jeopardy to play online games.

There are many of the most well-known casino operations available, including Spin Casino, JackpotCity, and the Gaming Club. Other popular options include Ruby Fortune and the Lucky Nugget. There is an almost unlimited number of casino operators available to players choosing to play online.

One big advantage that this offers to Sri Lankans is that the large number of casinos means that there is very steep competition to draw customers. With so many options, customers can be very picky about where they choose to play, and this leads to some of the best welcome bonuses and loyalty programs you will find.

A Range of Policies

While located in close proximity to one another, the laws regarding online gambling are quite different between India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. This has led to a host of illegal activity in two of these countries while the other is prospering from the restrictions of one. Because of how close the two countries are to one another, many in India can access the online casinos in Sri Lanka to play. This is only helping Sri Lanka to be even more successful.

It truly is an interesting disparity and one that those who are visiting these countries need to be made aware of. The last thing one wants is to get into legal peril because of ignorance about the laws.

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