Here Are the Ins and Outs of Gambling in India

Gambling is absolutely huge in India, and it is estimated that about 80% of all Indians place at least one bet each year, be that on slots, tables games, or sports. However, gambling is severely restricted in the country, apart from when it comes to horse racing and lotteries. We shall now take a closer look at gambling in India.

The State Decides What is Legal and What is Illegal

All the states in India are entitled to come up with their own laws and regulations regarding gambling activities. The 1867 Public Gambling Act is a law that forbids anyone from running a gambling house. If anyone is found breaking this law, they will be fined and could go to jail. Furthermore, those who are caught visiting illegal gambling houses will also be fined and could end up in jail.

In India, the law has divided games into two different categories – those of chance and those of skill. Games that require no skill to play and are all about luck are completely illegal. Whereas this is not the case with games that require some degree of skill. For example, the Supreme Court of India state that Rummy is a game of skill because players are required to hold and discard cards.

horse-racing horse-racing

However, there are some abnormalities. For instance, betting on horse racing is fine because it is believed that skill is required to win, but betting on cricket is totally prohibited. In our opinion, you can also use your skill and knowledge to bet on cricket and improve your chances of winning. Furthermore, what skill is involved in playing the lottery? Isn’t that all about chance?

There are only three states in the whole of India that allow casinos; Daman, Goa, and Sikkim. There are ten casinos in Goa, six of which are land-based and four of which can be found floating on the Mandovi river. You will find two land-based casinos in Sikkim and one in Daman. If reports are to be believed, the state of Visakhapatnam will be the next to permit gambling.

States such as Orissa and Assam have banned all types of gambling or betting. However, states can earn a lot of money from gambling, so it wouldn’t be surprised if they changed their minds in the near future.

What about Online Gambling?

In 2010, Sikkim planned to create three online casinos, but ultimately failed in their mission, despite India being one of the most sought out countries for online bookmakers. The state allows an online lottery, which players from all over India can use. When Sikkim did this, it was believed that other states would follow suit, creating a major online gambling market in India, but this is yet to materialize.

Although Indian casinos are not allowed to promote or own their own online gambling sites, the Indian government cannot stop non-Indian bookmakers to allow those living in India to create an account with them.

Calls to Make All Types of Gambling Legal in India

Gambling is banned in India, but this doesn’t stop people from doing it. In fact, the ban has just led to an increase in black-market gambling, which has, in turn, led to an increase in match fixing in sports such as cricket. Furthermore, the vast sums of money that illegal syndicates are making is being used for nefarious activities, which includes financing terror. Therefore, if betting was legalized, people would not need to go to these black-market syndicates to place their bets, meaning that they would soon run out of business. This would help to decrease match-fixing issues and funds reaching terror organizations.

Illegal-bookmaker Illegal-bookmaker

Another argument for making gambling legal is the amount of jobs that it would help to generate. In the world, wherever gambling is legal and regulated properly, there has been a huge increase in job opportunities. If gambling was to make legal throughout India, then it could help to create jobs for 2.5-4 million people.

There is also the argument that making gambling legal would help to create a huge income for the government. It is estimated that if the government legalized sports betting, they could earn tens of millions every year. They could get even more if they allow casinos and online gambling. All this extra money could be used to fund construction projects and to improve the health system.