Gambling is a huge market in India. The market is worth an estimated $60 billion per year. Half that is bet illegally.
That’s in spite of the statistic that shows that 40% of internet users have admitted to visiting a gambling site, yet NOT placing a bet. A fair amount of that income comes from the casinos in Goa. In 2013, they contributed Rs 135 crores.
To put that into perspective, a crore is equal to 10 million. That works out to be $1.35 BILLION rupees – or 21 million US dollars. The market is only getting bigger, too, growing year over year.
If you want to learn more about it – maybe even become a part of it – you can start by reading this page. We cover the basics – banking options, regulation, land-based casinos and recent news.
Casino Banking Options for Indians
It sounds like Indians have just as hard a time funding their casino accounts as Americans do. You’ll have the standard options – Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit, debit and prepaid cards.
These are usually the best options. They clear your bank the fastest. They have the lowest fees. You can sometimes use them to cash out.
However, from the sound of it, credit cards are hard to use. So your next best option is to use an e-wallet.
There are 3 standard options – Neteller, Skrill, and PayPal.
All are safe, have fees between 3-5 percent and will hit your account instantly. You can use any of them to cash out, too, which should take between 1-3 days.
The last thing – many sites will let you deposit in rupees, but few sites will let you play in rupees. That means you’ll often have less money to play with as you’ll get less money when you make the exchange to USD, Euro or Pound.
Gambling Regulations & Laws in India
Alright, let’s answer the question – is gambling legal in India.
Chances are the answer won’t surprise you – it depends.
Each state is able to pass their own laws. So, it’ll be legal to gamble in some states (like Goa, Daman, and Sikkim) and illegal to gamble in others.
That said – there are still federal or central laws. 
For example, there’s the Public Gambling Act of 1867. This law makes it illegal to run, visit or assist in running a gambling house. The consequences for violating this 145-year-old law are fines up to Rs 200 and/or up to 3 months imprisonment.
Then there’s The Information Technology Act 2000. The core idea behind this act is to regulate activities done through the internet that can be harmful to the public. This includes gambling. It comes with a fine of up to Rs 100,000 and up to 5 years in prison. What makes this act interesting is that the government holds the Internet Service Providers responsible for blocking (offshore) gambling websites.
So, that should tell you what you need to know about online gambling – it’s illegal.
There are exceptions, of course.
In 2009, Sikkim released a memo titled, Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules, 2009. It outlines their guidelines for online gambling including what it takes to be licensed, what games can be offered and taxes owed.
So, players in Sikkim can play roulette, blackjack, pontoon, punto banco, bingo, poker, poker dice, baccarat, backgammon, keno and super pan 9 online – but only at licensed casinos.
And so far it only sounds like one license has been issued – to Future Gaming Solution, a lottery site, in October 2014. There’s been no word yet on who might receive a license next.
India’s Land-Based Casinos
Only 3 states allow land-based casinos – Goa, Daman, and Sikkim.
There are two casinos in Sikkim:
• Casino Sikkim
• Casino Mahjong
There are more than ten casinos in Goa. Four of them are floating casinos that sit on the Mandovi River. Those are the:
• Casino Deltin Royale
• Casino Deltin Jaqk
• Casino Pride
• Casino Pride 2
Some of the other casinos in Goa include:
• Casino Paradise
• Chances Casino and Resort
• Casino Carnival Goa
• Casino Dunes
• Casino Dice
• Casino Palms
• Casino Goa Nugget
• Casino Pearl
• Casino Royale
• Casino Treasures
There are more casinos scheduled to be built and opened in the future.
And Daman only has one option – The Deltin Hotel & Casino.
Recent Gambling News From India
Most of the news coming from India has to do with busts. Funny thing – gambling is illegal in many states here in America, yet gambling busts are few and far between.
But not in India. It seems like there’s a bust at least once every couple of weeks.
1. The most interesting case – 12 people were arrested for gambling activities. What makes this case so interesting is some of the people arrested were civil servants working for different government departments.
2. In one bust, 18 people were arrested for illegal gambling in a New Delhi 5-star hotel. They used the hotel to provide some protection and to be less detectable by police.
3. Authorities were tipped off on an illegal online cricket betting operation. It’s believed this smaller operation is apart of a larger, widespread network that operates on a national level. Police arrested two bookmakers.
4. Police broke up a makeshift casino running out of someone’s home. It cost players Rs 1 lakh to enter the casino with the casino seeing upwards of 100 people per day. There were 43 people arrested in the bust which included bouncers, waiters, cooks, and dealers.