Lottery regulation in India is a State matter. The Central Govt has empowered the States to create their respective laws within the Lotteries (Regulation) Act of 1998. As a result, for the time being, state lotteries are lawful in certain Indian states but illegal in others.
Unfortunately, no specifics regarding the online lottery have been provided. This places gambling in a legal gray area where it would be neither lawful nor unlawful, regardless of the state in which the game is conducted. The US Powerball, Jackpot, Mega-Sena, EuroJackpot, Euro Millions, and other international lotteries that accept Indian lottery participants are widely accepted in India. They may be played online through ticket delivery services and lottery wagering websites.
The only possible exemptions are online lottery owned and managed independently by any Indian person. Such practices are outright prohibited. Let us now go further to have a better understanding of the unique legal environment of lottery in India and why the Government-run Lottery in only a few states.
Before going further here are a few facts about the Lottery scenario in the country.
- In India, the lottery is essentially legal because there is no outright prohibition.
- The government lotteries are now allowed in 13 Indian states.
- The practice is prohibited in 15 states in India and 8 Union territories.
- Independent Indian lotteries are strictly prohibited.
- It is not unlawful to participate in a foreign lottery within India.
States Where Lottery is Legal
All of the below-mentioned Indian states have their own Lottery Division, which is normally overseen by the Government of India’s Finance Department.
The following are the 13 Indian states that have legalized the lottery:
- Arunachal Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- West Bengal
Each state has its own systems and draws that are scheduled on specific timelines. The drawings are done publicly, and the winning tickets are generated randomly by a massive lottery machine.
The Government distributes the main prize, while licensed ticket vendors distributes the lower-tier rewards. A winner must submit his ticket together with other papers needed in a Claims Form in order to receive his reward.
Why Government Run Lotteries in Few States?
Only a few states allow Government lotteries and others do not, and even in these states their laws and rules may be different. It is intriguing how certain states allow the selling of lottery tickets other than their own, while others outright prohibit it. For example, Kerala restricts the selling of any lottery ticket except their own inside the region. Punjab, on the other hand, is looking to expand its outreach.
Aside from the aforementioned states, some states and UTs have deemed lotteries unlawful in their jurisdiction. Others, like Delhi, that used to conduct state lotteries, have already outlawed it. Some states, like Tamil Nadu, have outright prohibited the selling of lottery tickets from the other states. Yet, other states, like Haryana and Delhi, have decided to keep it open.
In other words, the Government of India has allowed the states to decide whether they want to allow lotteries in their states.