An Uncharted Territory: The Possibility Of Betting In Esports And Its Legal Ramifications


Esports have become increasingly popular in recent years not just in India but throughout the world. Esports have become quite popular, particularly among young people. Esports are widely available, and their popularity will only grow in the future. Esports are a recent and popular trend among people worldwide. Esports and sports are fundamentally different from each other. So, what exactly are esports How are esports different from traditional sports? Do we have rules and regulations that deal with betting on esports or are there different laws? Do esports come under the purview of the same laws applicable to sports betting? How are the rules and regulations for esports in the US? Are they similar to Indian rules and regulations? Why is it required to have proper legislation in place? These are a few questions we will further discuss in this article.


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Analysing E-Sports And Existing Legal Scenario Concerning Them In India

Esports are digital sports unlike conventional sports where players play in a physical space. Esports requires a prior skill set which is required by the players/teams to compete against each other on online platform. Traditional sports are played on an actual ground, while the esports are played electronically/virtually. Esports also have spectators the distinction is that It resembles the feeling of viewing a professional sporting event, but instead of watching a physical competition, viewers watch video gamers compete against one another. Sports betting is very common in today’s time. Sports betting is a practice that involves predicting about sporting events and placing a bet or wager on the result of the sports like cricket, football, horse racing and if the player/team plays well and prediction comes true then a certain amount is given. Sports betting is not limited to sports only, it has extended to political elections results and show contest. The professional gaming aspect of esports has created a world of chances for betting on esports, just like with any physical sport. Betting on esports is similar to betting on traditional sports, with the exception that you will bet on players competing in online video games. You can choose the sites you prefer because it gives you the chance to know about the facts and figures like reputation of the website, pay in and pay out options, betting flexibility, and the variety of eSports offered on the site which will ultimately help you make an informed choice.

With the exception of horse racing, which is seen as a game of skill, sports betting is mostly illegal in India. There are two types of games: games of skill and games of chance, in game of chance no prior knowledge, talent, or intellectual ability of the players is necessary and instead depends on luck. Every nation has established its own laws and regulations regarding sports betting. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 and the Technology Act of 2000 are two important acts in India that address sports betting and gambling. Gambling and betting are covered by the state list of seven schedule, which means that each state is free to enact its own gambling and betting regulations without outside interference. While most Indian states (Some state governments, including Assam and Odisha, forbid all types of gambling, including games of skill and game of chance) have banned sports betting, many of them, like Goa, Sikkim, and Daman, have legalised it within their borders. The question that now arises is: Do these laws apply to esports betting? Esports betting is not covered under the Public Gambling Act of 1867 since it doesn’t apply to games that need skill as esports are played virtually and require a certain level of skill to compete. However, because betting is a state affair, each state is free to enact its own laws and regulations. One such instance is Sikkim, which passed the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008 to regulate online gaming and other elements related to it.

In Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, the US Supreme Court struck the federal ban on sports betting and gave the states the authority to enact their own sports betting regulations. On the federal level, there is no, though, particular legislation regarding sports betting. However, even in the US, there is no special legislation, putting India and the US on an equivalent basis in terms of esports regulation. In many countries like UK, China do not have currently any specific legal or regulatory framework that applies to eSports.


Esports, as stated above, is an evolving notion throughout the globe, many countries are in the process of bringing laws to regulate esports. The Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, 2022, which aims to have the Central Government create an Online Gaming Commission, was introduced in the Lok Sabha on April 1. The Commission will have the authority to set rules, give, cancel, or terminate licences to owners of gaming websites and servers, as well as to supervise how the Indian online gaming market is operating. Rajasthan government and Tamil Nadu government have also proposed Rajasthan Virtual Online Sports (Regulation) Bill, 2022 and The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance, 2022 respectively. Esports should be regulated, and a proper statute must be in place to do so. To prevent disputes between the states and to prevent developers from evading responsibility just because they reside in a state without esports-specific legislation, it is necessary to establish a single federal law controlling esports. Based on federal law, each state government develops its own structure. It is important to note that, while doing so, the State Government must not enact any regulations that are opposed to the Federal Law. Recent growth in the importance of data privacy has led to the Indian government’s decision to outlaw some popular games, there are various games present in the online domain that doesn’t pass the quality test and compromise with players privacy since there is nothing present on papers to prohibit these actions of the game developers, proper regulation will prevent them from deceiving the users/players. Legalisation of esports will also help in the economy through taxation and players will also be able to lodge the complaint against the defaulters. For many youngsters in the country, this will help them hone their gaming skills and provide new opportunities. For a very long time, the job and unemployment crises has been a crippling one. The gaming sector may be a huge help in that sense. Having legislations and regulations in existence will only going to help and provide secure, guarded and authentic environment to players as well developers. In this digital age, where data breach and privacy violation are commonplace daily occurrences, it becomes vital to have stringent laws in place.

Author: Anshika Shrivastava, 3rd year student pursuing B.L.S LL.B from SVKM’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law, Mumbai, in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email to or at Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorney.


  10. Murphy v. NCAA – 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018)





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