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Online Gambling in India Gets Major Boost from Nagaland Legislation

Regulated online gambling has finally made its way to the massive Indian market. OK, it’s not the whole country, just the tiny state of Nagaland (population 2.26 million) but it’s definitely a good start.

Late last week, Nagaland lawmakers put their stamp of approval on a new plan that legalizes online, “games of skill.” These games include sports betting, rummy, poker, and daily fantasy sports.

The bill, which is titled, Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Bill, 2015, was actually introduced last year but was tabled by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) while the circumstances of actually implementing it were studied further.

So what exactly constitutes a game of skill in the eyes of the NLA? In this case games of skill are defined as any game that:

…relates to strategizing the manner of placing wagers or placing bets or where the skill lies in team selection or selection of virtual stock based on analyses or where the skill relates to the manner in which the moves are made, whether deployment of physical or mental skill and acumen.

Located in India’s northeastern corner, Nagaland seems like an unlikely candidate to be leading the charge on regulated online gambling. After all, Nagaland is known as one of India’s more rustic states and is home to more than 16 indigenous tribes, many of whom still embrace their traditional, low-tech lifestyles.

Not only is Nagaland not exactly Hyderabad, the new regulations aren’t even expected to raise that much money. Most estimates suggest that online gambling will only generate a less than 2 million dollars worth of annual tax revenue.