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Legality of Lottery in India

The lottery business is profitable in India. Although, the government regulates it in their unique way. We will discuss the legality of the lottery in India.

Explore the captivating world of Lottery in India as we delve into the excitement and nuances surrounding this age-old form of gaming. In this introduction, uncover the rich history and diverse landscape of lotteries across the country. From state-sponsored draws to online platforms, Lottery in India has evolved, offering a spectrum of opportunities and challenges. As we navigate the cultural, legal, and entertainment aspects of lotteries, gain insights into how this thrilling game of chance has become an integral part of the Indian gaming experience. Join us on this journey where luck takes center stage, and the Lottery in India unfolds as a dynamic and fascinating phenomenon.

The lottery is an ancient concept in India. It is nothing but a game of luck where two parties place their chances and the winner bags the prize money. The lottery had different forms back in the day. With the transformation of technology, lotteries also took an online form. Private firms also started offering lottery tickets to the public.

A brief about the legality of Lottery in India

The lottery was considered addictive and resulted in losses. Due to various drawbacks, the government banned private lotteries and started regulating the game. The era of digitalisation made it easier for the public to pay for the one they want at the ease of their home. Later, the lottery became a state-wise regulated matter. 

Different states implemented their policies for the management of lotteries. The Kerala government runs the oldest state-managed lottery system. We will further discuss different states and their status on legalizing the lottery. Lotteries in India navigate a complex legal maze, influenced by state regulations and central laws, making their legality a dynamic subject.

The legality of the lottery in India is a state-related affair. Under the Lotteries Regulation Act, of 1988, the state governments have been authorised by the central government to make their laws related to the game. As a result, some states have banned it and some still consider it legal. 

However, there is no such restriction on the online form of lottery. Everyone is allowed to try their luck in the game. They can buy lottery tickets online as there is no strict rule regarding the online form. It is considered a safe place regardless of the illegal status in some of the Indian states. 

It has now become a global market. International lottery place invites players to the Indian market as well. With the help of online assistance, they participate in the game from their home country and it is not considered illegal. Messenger services and betting sites are used for this purpose. Privately owned lotteries are still regarded as illegal in India and can result in serious consequences for the player. 

States with Legal Lottery in India:

State-wise variations contribute to the diversity in the legal stance on lotteries, requiring a keen understanding of local regulations for compliance. There are some states with a legalized lottery in India. Almost 13 states allow players to participate and bid. The states are as follows:

  • Assam
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • West Bengal
  • Meghalaya
  • Nagaland
  • Mizoram
  • Kerala
  • Goa
  • Maharashtra 
  • Manipur
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Punjab
  • Sikkim

The Central Government has allowed state governments to regulate their respective lottery policies. Each Indian state has its Lottery department to look after the functioning. It is supervised by the Finance Department, Government of India.

Strict rules have been laid by the government. The date and time are also organised by the state government. They have an arrangement of big lottery machines which are used to select the winning number by the regular method of selection. 

Prize distribution is one of the many duties they perform. Top-tier prices which invoke a huge sum of money are distributed by the state authorities. However, lower money prices are given away by the ticket sellers. The player must carry his ticket along with the required documents for claiming the price. 

State Wise arrangement makes it fascinating to understand the consequences which led to such decisions. Kerala has banned the sale of any other tickets than its own. Whereas some states allow the free business of these lottery tickets. The physical form of tickets is still preferred while buying. 

States with Illegal Lottery in India:

Let’s discuss the states that have banned the lottery in India. 15 Indian states have prohibited the game. Moreover, 8 union territories have also followed the same rule. The list is mentioned below:

  • Uttarakhand 
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Gujarat 
  • Chhattisgarh 
  • Jharkhand 
  • Himachal Pradesh 
  • Haryana
  • Ladakh
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  • Daman and Diu
  • Karnataka
  • Rajasthan 
  • Odisha
  • Puducherry 
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Tripura 
  • Telangana
  • Jammu and Kashmir 
  • Bihar
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Chandigarh 
  • Lakshadweep
  • Delhi
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands

All the mentioned states have now banned lotteries and do not run any government lotteries either. The lottery business in India is looked after by the government and they are free to design policies their way. India is considered to be one of the largest growing markets for lottery tickets. Consumer protection and responsible gambling measures are integral components of the ongoing legal discussions regarding the lottery industry in India.

The number is expected to increase up to 4.2 billion in 2023. Numerous individuals have access to the lottery market which results in unfair practices and loss to the masses. Hence, it requires licenses and permits to be a part of the business. There is an age restriction as well. A person must be 18 years old to be permitted to play. 

International lotteries are permitted by the government. People can participate in online lottery irrespective of their state. It is run safely and soundly. Moreover, it is regularly and closely monitored by the government. Before participating in an online lottery, the player must read the terms and conditions carefully. 

They must always choose a reliable and trusted website. The price amount is received in the digital account set up and it reflects the funds received by the player. Online lotteries are a safe option as the participant receives a notification every time they win. Overall it is an authentic choice to rely upon.

International Lottery in India

The rise in popularity of online versions of international lotteries can be attributed to platforms that facilitate effortless betting for participants.

While only the luckiest individuals can secure the jackpot, those with a gambling addiction continue to see their money go down the drain. Despite the slim chances of winning, people continue to engage in lotteries, drawn to the excitement of imagining the possibilities of winning.

Nevertheless, the opportunity to partake in some of the world’s most substantial lotteries is now accessible in India with websites providing users with the chance to instantly win millions of dollars.  Notably, not every participant has an equal likelihood of winning, and the grand prize is claimed by only the most fortunate individual. 

Laws related to Lottery in India

Lotteries in India are subject to the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998, and the Lotteries (Regulation) Rules, 2010. These legal frameworks outline the provisions concerning the organization and conduct of lotteries. 

In Section 2(b) of the Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998, a lottery is defined as – “a scheme, in whatever form and by whatever name called, for distribution of prizes by lot or chance to those persons participating in the chances of a prize by purchasing tickets”.

Section 6 of the Act empowers the Central Government to prohibit lotteries that are organized, conducted, or promoted in contravention of the specified Act.  Section 7 of the Act details the penalty provisions associated with non-compliance.

Additionally, the Indian Penal Code, 1860, under Section 294A, stipulates that anyone maintaining an office or place for the purpose of conducting a lottery (excluding State or State Government-authorized lotteries) may face imprisonment for up to six months, a fine, or both.

Section 30 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, declares agreements made in the form of wagers as void.

Moreover, the Consumer Protection Act prohibits the conduct of contests, lotteries, games of chance or skill, for the purpose of promoting, either directly or indirectly, the sale, use, or supply of any product or business interest.

Differences between Online and Paper Lottery

The distinction between paper lotteries and online lotteries is very obvious. In a paper lottery, participants physically visit a designated location to purchase tickets, whereas in an online lottery, tickets are acquired with a simple click of a button through various websites. 

Notably, online lottery games can be played from any location worldwide, while paper lotteries have geographical restrictions, allowing players to participate only in lotteries available in their vicinity.

Another notable difference lies in the process of claiming prizes. Online lotteries offer a more straightforward and quicker prize claim process, as all records, including sales, tickets, and related transactions are securely stored. 

In contrast, offline lotteries face higher risks of misplacing or damaging winning tickets. Additionally, online lotteries have predetermined draw times, with ticket sales at terminals ending at specified times, reducing the likelihood of unfair practices compared to offline lotteries.

Eligibility to Participate in Online Lottery

The Indian market for traditional paper lotteries stands as one of the largest globally, but with the passage of time, the online lottery sector in India is also experiencing rapid growth. While this growth presents opportunities, it also raises concerns about the potential for scams, particularly in the realm of online lotteries. To mitigate such risks, lottery operators must obtain approval from state governments, ensuring compliance with necessary licenses and permits.

  • Participation in online lotteries is subject to an age requirement; individuals must be at least 18 years old to qualify. This age criterion is uniformly applicable across the nation.
  • In accordance with central lottery regulations, individuals can engage in online lotteries organized by states, regardless of whether they are residents of the organizing state.
  • The central government permits participation in online international lotteries for individuals nationwide, with the exception of the state of West Bengal.
  • It is essential for every eligible individual considering participation in online lotteries to exercise caution and avoid illegitimate websites.

Disclaimer – Vakilsearch neither requests nor suggests nor promotes any of its readers/visitors to engage in gambling activities such as rummy, lottery, betting, or casino. 

This article is purely informative and is based on information gathered from online sources. We do not explicitly endorse all the information provided above, as our reliance is solely on details available on the Internet. 

Participation in such games should only occur if it is legally permitted in your country/state, and if you meet the age requirements stipulated by the laws of the country or state of residence. 

It is crucial to acknowledge that these games involve both financial losses and gains, and Vakilsearch assumes no responsibility under any circumstances.


The lottery business has been in existence for years. Every market has its loopholes. To rectify the problems in the setup certain steps were taken by the government. Private lotteries were completely banned. As they resulted in big scams and the majority of them were night flyers. The government stepped in and made the lottery market a government-run system. The responsibility was later handed to the state governments. Since then the market has been running smoothly and governed accordingly. 

However, it is legal in some states and illegal in the remaining states of India. It is still a relevant source of income for a majority of the middle-class population. A well-managed system must be appreciated and the rules must be strictly followed by the player and ticket distributor. However, people can still participate in online lotteries and they are not banned by any state government. They are considered legitimate. The online mode requires more attention and research before participating. In conclusion, exploring the legality of lotteries in India demands a comprehensive understanding of both federal and state regulations to navigate the evolving landscape.

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