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Is Housie a gamble?

Is Housie a gamble?

Housie, also known as Tambola or Bingo in some parts of the world. It is a popular game, which you would usually play at clubs or family gatherings. The first player to reach a certain threshold is given a prize. While it is usually seen as a fun and innocuous activity, some house games may involve buying tickets. Is Housie a gamble? After all, it involves real money?

Read on to find out.




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Is Housie a gamble?

As per the current gambling law in India, housie can be considered as a gambling game. The Public Gambling Act of 1867, which is still in force in most parts of India, classifies gambling games as `games of chance´ in which a player has no control over the outcome, and the winnings are based purely on luck.

Aa the law may have various interpretations, it leaves several loopholes, in which some gambling sites operate. Under the judgments of various courts, betting on horse racing, playing fantasy games, or card games like Poker and Rummy have been classified as `games of skill´, and hence can be legally played in India. But going strictly with the technicalities, housie is a gambling game, since the winnings are purely based on luck.

The rising popularity of online housie

Is Housie a gamble? While originally housie was seen as a club and party game, the recent lockdowns have resulted in a rise in popularity of online housie.

Administrators of such games generate tickets on one of the many Tambola apps and sell them to players within a small closed group. The games are usually played over WhatsApp or Zoom calls, and hence are very difficult to regulate.

A ticket can cost anywhere between ₹200 to ₹1000, and winning prizes can run into lakhs of rupees for each game. The administrators usually keep around 10-15% commission for their efforts.

Apps like Housie Quiz too are steadily gaining popularity.

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