Gambling has been popular in India since ancient times, even finding a mention in the Mahabharata. In many parts of India, festivals like Diwali and Janmashtami are celebrated with family and friends, playing card games like Teen Patti. Sadly, gambling is a punishable offense in India, under the Public Gambling Act of 1867. Post-independence, states have received powers to form their own laws regarding gambling, and some states have indeed used them to legalize casinos. How many casinos are there in India?
Read on to find out.
How many casinos are there in India?
Currently, three regions in India allow casinos to operate legally, namely Sikkim, Goa, and Daman. Goa was the first state to allow casinos within its borders, and the first casino opened its doors in 1999. Initially, only offshore casinos were allowed, in the form of large ships floating on the river Mandovi, off the coast of Panaji. Gradually, licenses were given to onshore casinos too, and today there are around 16 casinos in Goa, around 6 of which are offshore.
Sikkim was the second state to legalize casinos, and its casinos are concentrated mainly around the capital city of Gangtok. Daman was the latest entrant in legalizing casinos and hosts India’s biggest land casino. In total, there are approximately 20 legal casinos in India.
Rise of online gambling
While the rules for casinos and gambling are pretty strict in India, online gambling is a very poorly regulated area. There are no clear laws within the Information Technology Act of 2000 for banning online gambling, leaving a huge grey area.
Using this loophole, many international websites, which are hosted in foreign countries, and outside India’s jurisdiction, are currently accepting Indian players. Until and unless there is some tight regulatory framework, Indians residing anywhere in the country can enjoy online betting and gambling from the comfort of their homes.
How many casinos are there in India? Too many to count if you include the ones functional online as well!