The reality of gambling development in India is not rosy at all: though the Indian States are empowered to regulate and oversee gambling, it is prohibited everywhere except for a few territories including Sikkim, Nagaland, and Goa, Daman, and Diu. The basic Public Gambling Act 1867 obviously needs refreshment, but neither the Indian government nor local authorities see gambling as something to update & modernize.
But why is it so? Is this unfriendliness rooted in history? Let’s get our shovels and start digging into the problem.
The Emergence of Gambling in India: Make Love, Not War
As strange as it sounds today, when most punters come to parlors to gild themselves while ignoring the original concept of entertainment and fun, ancient gambling was all about strengthening the connection between friends and enemies. Imagine two chiefs smoking a pipe and throw dice – that has much to do with the reality of the ancient past! The first mention of gambling in the Hindu mythologies dates back to the epic Vedic literature of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Just like a smoking time to some modern people, a gambling time to ancient chiefs was a way to clear minds and smoothen the pressing issues of the day.
Gambling as a Well-Recognized Culture
As time flew, gambling passed across generations and gradually became a part of quality time. It was discussed in the streets while animal performances, mainly horse races, become inevitable festivities of the Indian routine. By the XV century gambling had totally absorbed the attention of the masses and soon first gambling houses were legalized with part of their profits accrued to authorities of that time (aka Kings).
The XV century shaped the lion’s share of gambling games as we know them today, but there were also latecomers like cricket, which was brought to India only in the XVIII century by Europeans and opened a new epoch of sports betting in the local gambling culture. Unfortunately, the development of sports betting and gambling found a strong opposition after the British takeover, and the notorious Public Gambling Act 1867 banned all gambling houses except for a few exceptions which, however, left no space for Indian gamblers.
Surprisingly, very few things have changed since the adoption of the Public Gambling Act 1867 – the Indian government is still reluctant to recognize the right to gamble and see in it anything but a vicious pastime leading to addiction and money loss. However, with the advent of the Internet and all the bells and whistles that accompany modern gambling (proxy servers, VPN and TOR networks), it’s almost impossible to limit the people’s access by force. Moreover, the Indian legislation has a giant loophole to take advantage of – it does not punish Indians for gambling, but directs all its forces on gambling operators. As a result, you are free to use any international gambling website that accepts Indian rupees.
As long as you pick a reputable casino with years of history behind, you risk nothing. Even though illegal gambling leaves you unprotected in case of fraud or mishandling, every online casino for Indian players undergo a thorough backcheck and thereby chances are you will never get in trouble. And if you do seek legal options, here you go:
- Goa, Daman, Diu: gambling in 5-star hotels.
- Sikkim: sports betting and casino games via the intranet (internal network, do not confuse with the Internet).
- Nagaland: online games of skill.
Is There a Future for Legal Gambling in India?
Regardless of the vicious confrontation between gambling and the state, there’s a tiny hope that the history lessons along with globalization and common sense will be taken into account by the current authorities or at worst their successors and finally, gambling will be re-granted to Indians. Meanwhile, Indian players have no choice but to circumvent the ban to access the games they once had the privilege to enjoy openly.