Gambling has been one of the most popular past times of people across the world. It is believed that gambling existed way back in 3000 B. C. in ancient Mesopotamia and in the first millennium B. C. in ancient China. Card games made their first appearance somewhere around the 9th century in China. The first known casino is believed to have opened in 1638, in the city of Venice in Italy. In the modern-day world, there have been many countries and regions around the world, which have legalized gambling, and are today some of the most visited tourist destinations in the world.
The dawn of the 21st century has seen a new form of gambling, known as online gambling, and it is rapidly becoming popular amongst gambling enthusiasts. A simple search on the internet will lead you to a number of online casinos, but it is better to check out websites like casinoexpert.in to know which are the best amongst them.
Gambling in India
India has a rich gambling history. In fact, in the ancient epic of Mahabharata, it was a gambling game that acted as a precursor to the great war of Kurukshetra.
In modern-day India, gambling activities of all kinds were considered to be illegal under a law formed under British rule and is still in force in most parts of the country. Under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, running and visiting a gambling house is a punishable offense, and has a provision of imprisonment of up to 6 months, and a fine of ₹200.
Thankfully, after independence, the constitution gave the states greater powers to frame their own laws regarding gambling. Using this autonomy, Goa became the first state to legalize gambling within its borders, by passing the Goa, Daman, and Diu Public Gambling Act in 1976. Under this act, casinos were allowed to operate in offshore vessels, as well as within 5-star hotels. In 2005, Sikkim became the second state to legalize gambling, with the passage of the Sikkim Regulation of Gambling(Amendment), paving the way for land-based casinos. The latest addition to this list was the Union territory of Daman.
Currently, there are about 20 casinos operating in India, with Goa having a major share of about 16 casinos. Goa has about 6 offshore casinos operating on huge luxury vessels, which are moored on river Mandovi, and the rest are land-based casinos in 5-star hotels.
Sikkim has about 3 casinos in and around the capital city of Gangtok, and Daman hosts the biggest casino in India.
Online gambling in India
The Public Gambling Act of India is quite a dated law and has not been amended to include modern-day internet activities. The Information Technology Act of 2000 too does not mention the words `gambling´ and `betting´ specifically. This leaves a huge grey area, which is open to interpretations.
Taking advantage of these loopholes, many foreign-based online betting websites like betway and bet365, as well as online casinos like LeoVegas and Royal Panda are currently accepting Indian players.
These websites are hosted and licensed in countries like Malta and Curacao, where online betting and gambling is completely legal, and being outside India, they are not governed by any Indian laws. So as of now, Indians can legally and safely enjoy their services.
Many of these sites are designed specifically with the Indian players in mind, and offer traditional Indian card games like Teen Patti and Andar Bahar, in addition to the popular western games like roulette, blackjack, poker, and slots.
Deposits and withdrawals can be made using Indian rupees, and some websites also allow the use of popular Indian e-wallets like PhonePe and Paytm to make deposits.
While physical casinos are not accessible to all Indians, online casinos provide a great alternate, where one can gamble on their favorite games, from the comfort of their homes.