Difference Between Online Casinos & Indian Land-based Casinos

Gambling has evolved from brick-and-mortar to online casinos. If you’re unsure of the differences, this article explains what you can expect from online and land-based casinos and which one you should choose.
Vishal Sharma
Expert: Fact Reviewer & Journalist
Experience: Sports content writer, Editor & Live show host

Contrasting Features - Online vs. Land-Based Casinos in India

While the products and games at land-based and online casinos are essentially the same, several differences exist that separate the experience. We will compare both types of casinos and provide you with the essential aspects of each.

Indian online casinos vs land-based
Table on the Differences Between Online and Land-Based Casinos.

Game Variety Differences

  • Online platforms offer a wide array of casino games where there’s something for every type of player, while land-based casinos don’t. Even though land-based casinos have a vast selection of games, there is nowhere near what you can expect from an online casino.
  • Online casinos have between 2,000 and 4,500 titles from popular software providers. But, when you consider the number of casinos available in locations such as Las Vegas and Macau, their gaming catalogues don’t compare to what an online casino offers.
  • Online sites will feature various games, including traditional Indian ones like Teen Patti and Andar Bahar. Nevertheless, these gaming titles aren’t readily available at land-based casinos because they simply can’t offer this variety. 
  • Online sites strive to improve the player experience and make it more realistic with their live casino section. However, land-based casinos only offer players traditional table games without any additional features as you would expect. 
  • Land-based casinos only offer the traditional versions of roulette, blackjack, and poker, whereas, in an online casino, you get access to these games alongside their variations to add a twist if your gaming experience has become boring.

Gaming experience

  • While online casinos get our approval for the variety of games they offer, the experience at a land-based casino is second to none. 
  • When you walk into a land-based casino, the atmosphere and ambience immediately grab you. On the other hand, land-based casinos play their part by offering different lighting, waiters bringing drinks while you gamble, and the social aspect with other players. 

Regulatory Environment Variations

India’s laws regarding gambling are quite outdated since it’s based on The Public Gambling Act of 1867. While there are grey areas surrounding online casinos, the act prohibits gambling in multiple states. As a result, land-based casinos are only legal in three states - Goa, Sikkim, and Daman. Furthermore, the regulations state that, for example, if a casino is to operate legally in Daman, it can only be opened at a 5-star resort. 

These are the only physical casinos that are legal throughout India:

  • Casino Carnival - Goa
  • Deltin Royale - Goa
  • Casino Mahjong - Sikkim
  • Deltin Daman Casino - Diu Daman
  • Casino Paradise - Goa 
  • Big Daddy Casino - Goa

Regarding Big Daddy Casino, is a reputable boat casino. For more insights into its owner, Gopal Kanda, and the operating company Golden Globe Hotels Pvt Ltd, you can read our research on that link.

Each state to decide

Online gambling has crept under the radar of Indian law because there aren’t any regulations to address it directly. For this reason, the national government leaves it up to each state to decide whether it will allow online gambling. 

Since online casinos get offshore licences from foreign regulators, they can legally operate in the relevant states. Authorities like the Government of Curacao, Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission are examples of proper licences offshore casinos should have. 

As part of its licence conditions, these sites must protect players’ data using encryption tools that prevent their information from being stolen. Additionally, the casino must offer multiple responsible gambling tools to assist players when they become addicted to gambling 

While these measures exist at land-based casinos, it’s more difficult to activate them than in an online casino. 

The laws that govern gambling in India point to the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Since then, there haven’t been any adjustments to the act to address online gambling. For this reason, the legality of online gambling is left to each state to decide. 

Most states in India allow online casinos to operate from foreign countries as long as it has a proper licence from a reputable gambling authority. Some states have specific criteria to meet, such as allowing for the transactions of Indian Rupees. 

Currently, the Indian government has expressed its desire to update its gambling laws because there could be an opportunity for revenue through legalising the use of offshore online casinos in India. 

Accessibility & Location

Because India only has three states offering legal land-based casinos, it’s difficult for most players to access them. You’d have to travel far and wide to visit Goa, Sikkim, or Daman, which will be costly. When you factor in the money you will spend on travel and the money you need to play casino games, online casinos become a far more convenient option. 

With an online casino, you can play your favourite games anywhere, as long as you have a stable internet connection. Most sites have adapted their products to mobile screens or have released a smartphone-dedicated app, making it easier to access when you’re on the go.

Making a Choice - Online or Indian Land-Based Casinos?

Ultimately, deciding whether to gamble at an online or land-based casino rests entirely on your preferences. The online casino is ideal if you want to access a massive gaming catalogue with various games and titles with exciting twists.

You won’t have to leave the comfort of your home and your state to get your dose of legal casino gambling. However, if you reside in Goa, Sikkim, or Daman, the land-based casino may be a great option to enjoy the entire casino experience.

Visiting a physical location will get you the lights and atmosphere with the potential of interacting with other players and dealers from the casino. However, if you can forego the real-life experience, you can get something that’s a close second by visiting a legal online casino. Weigh up the options and decide which type of casino suits your needs.

Select Your Country