Gambling Laws in India by State
India is a large country, divided into States where each has different rules and laws about gambling. The many different forms of gambling include horse races, sports betting, poker and other card games, and even the lottery. Each state may have different definitions of what gambling is, as well as different laws regarding gambling. The central government of India does have their very own definition of gambling, as well as the laws that rule it.
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits operating or managing of a public gaming house. The punishment may not be as severe as others, but it is still a heavy burden; anyone caught will be fined 200 rupees or imprisoned for 3 months. There are two more laws that have been passed as recently as 2011.
The Information Technology Act of 2000 is in charge of dealing with online activities, by prohibiting the publication or transmission of information that can corrupt; which includes gambling. The other law is the Federal Information Technology Act of 2011 that tries to stop internet gambling. However, instead of putting pressure on the gamblers and punters, they make it the ISP’s responsibility to block offshore betting sites.
Gambling: Illegal except Horse Racing
Uttar Pradesh has a population of 199,581,477 as of 2011, making it the State with the highest population of the Indian country. This has caused it to become the target of many different types of gambling, which consist mainly of illegal gambling rings. However, there is a high incidence of gambling on satta style games such as rummy, poker, and others. There has been no progress on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government to legalize gambling, or creating legal casinos since their failed attempt in 2005.
There are also many of the resident in this State that have a fondness of punting on horse races and sporting events, especially on cricket matches. Many believe that the problem with illegal gambling and the problems it causes could be fixed by legalizing certain forms of gambling, whether they are for brick and mortar satta institutions or online.
Gambling: Illegal except for Horse Racing and Lotteries
Maharashtra is a beautiful State with 112,372,972 people as of 2011. The government of Maharashtra has made most forms of gambling illegal, with the exceptions of horse races and the State lotteries thanks to the Bombay Wager Act. This has caused many problems, especially in the large city of Mumbai, India with its 20 million people and its growing middle class. As it is a popular location for many sporting events such as the IPL, International cricket matches, and many others, it is a prime location for many to wager on these events. Many even argue with the fact that Matka, a specialized game thought to have been created in Maharashtra, is made illegal.
Online gambling is not illegal in Maharashtra, but it has been the spark of many controversies in the State. Legalizing and regulating the other forms of gambling could help improve the wealth of the State.
Gambling: Illegal except Horse Racing
Bihar, India has a population of over 103 million people, and has had a rough history. The State government was run until recently by a communist party, where innovation and improvement was hard to accomplish. However, recently the new government being ran by the Janata Dal has been making improvements to the old system.
They still adhere quite strictly to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, making any and all forms of gambling illegal. Be cautious as they have a high rate of arrests made for gambling, although most of the arrests have been for operating or participating in local illegal gambling houses and not so much for online gambling, which is being done.
Gambling: Illegal except for Horse Racing and Poker
West Bengal, India has a population of just over 91 million and an array of great racecourses through the State. One of the most popular racecourses is the Kolkata Race Course. There is one big exception in West Bengal that makes it a great place for playing poker. The reason is that the definition for a game of skill according to the West Bengal Prize Competition and Gambling Act makes poker a popular choice. However, you cannot simply start playing poker, you must get permission from the Police Commissioner or the District Magistrate when and if you will be playing a game of skill in a public place.
Remain cautious though, as online gambling is still illegal in West Bengal, even if poker is well received. Always check with your local government to see whether online poker is legal or not.
Gambling: Illegal except for Tote and Pool betting, Lotteries, Horse Racing, Rummy
Andhra Pradesh is the 5th largest State in India with a population of over 84 million people. They have one of the more open minded governments when it comes to gambling, as they allow horse racing, lotteries, rummy, and Tote and Pool betting. They do not allow other forms of gambling however, such as win-only wagers that can be found at most bookmakers. This makes sports betting illegal, but sporting events like cricket matches are still widely bet on. There have been several arrests made by the police, but as the punishments are not that severe, it has little effect on the overall gambling industry.
Within most of the States in India, two forms of gambling are legal; horse races and lotteries. From State to State there may be exceptions with the different types of legal gambling, but most remain the same in terms of sports satta. Check out your own States gambling laws to see what you are able to gamble on.