With a federal system which allows individual states to regulate gambling and lottery activities in their own territories, India's gaming market and its regulatory framework is complex. The Republic of India is made up of 28 states and seven union territories.
A federal prohibition on all forms of gambling reflects the conservative policy, which underpins gaming regulation in most States. The vast majority of Indian states either prohibit all forms of gambling or only permit limited forms of gambling, such as horse race betting or state lotteries. Over the past decade however, there has been a gradual easing of restrictions in some states to allow for slot machine or casino-style gaming, primarily aimed at tourists.
The state of Goa, on India's western coast, was the first to develop a casino industry by allowing electronic gaming in five star hotels and cruise vessels in the mid-1990s. Hailed by some in the industry as the next big gaming opportunity in Asia, the continued growth of casino gaming in Goa has been called into doubt by the lack of effective regulation, ongoing public sentiment against gambling and the lack of a coherent policy on casinos from the government.
Since September 2010, the Indian government has announced to be considering legalising sport betting at a national level in the wake of an international spot fixing scandal in cricket. However, up to this moment no bill has been enacted. Currently, only the state of Sikkim has legalised sport betting within its territory.