Betting and Gambling in India: What you need to know


A lot has changed since India criminalized gambling over 100 years ago. Pakistan separated from India, and both countries gained independence. Bollywood became a fully-fledged industry celebrated worldwide while the country’s space research organization launched a rocket to the moon.

All the while, India still refuses to legalize sports and casino gambling. In fact, the present government has no plans to permitting the industry. But like in many nations where casinos are not allowed, people still access gambling services in India. 

From sports betting to slots, poker to blackjack; Indians have figured out how to gamble without alarming their government. So, how do they do it?

Foreign Online Casinos

India has no authority over foreign businesses, and that means it can’t punish or sue foreign companies that offer their services to Indians. Whether these companies offer gambling services or consumer products like clothes, the government can’t sue them. 

For Indians that choose to join foreign casinos, the only thing that could hold them back is how they deposit and withdraw money. That’s because some Indian banks won’t allow people to deposit cash to gambling websites.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways around that. For starters, players can use e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill and Neteller to transact with casinos. They’re safe methods and don’t alert local authorities when you make payments to casinos. You can also use the e-wallets to withdraw your wins before you send the money to your favourite Indian bank.

Apart from e-wallets, players can also deposit and withdraw their cash using digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. And because they’re highly secure and anonymous, your gambling activities remain private.

Choosing an Online Casino

Although Indians can gamble on foreign casino sites without facing legal problems, they face a similar problem to all casino players. Not all gambling platforms are genuine. 

That means you could deposit your cash on a betting site and never get to withdraw your wins. And because the Indian government can’t take action on rogue foreign casinos, you could get defrauded, and no one will help you. 

To avoid scam casinos, therefore, it’s essential to join a trustworthy gambling website. It could be a new Indian online casino or a platform that has been around for decades. But make sure it’s a company with a good reputation online.

You can visit online casino review websites to get suggestions from the experts or read people’s comments on forums. Millions of Indians have gambled on offshore casinos sites before, so you’ll always find useful tips from fellow Indians.

What Games do Indian Gamblers Play?

Players’ gambling tastes in India are as diverse as the people who live inside it. There are millions of people who swear by sports betting. Others wake up every day to play poker. Still, some mix the thrills of slot machines with the excitement of live casino games.

There are no rules on which kinds of players can gamble on sports or blackjack. If you spot a game on a casino and have money to wager on it, there’s nothing that should stop you. Of course, some games are better than others, so you shouldn’t play on any random game.

If you choose to play slots, you need to find machines that payout frequently. You also want to play games with bonuses and multiplier features. That way, every win in the game will earn you a lot more money than you wagered. 

If you choose to wager on sports, gamble in games you know well. Most bookmakers support cricket, soccer and horse racing. So, if you love these sports more than basketball or rugby, consider wagering on them. 

Bonuses for Indian Casino Players

Not only can Indian citizens engage in gambling, but they’re welcomed to most casinos with gifts. Creating an account on a good website earns you free spins on slot machines or a free bet. When you make your first deposit, your money is matched 100% so that you get a bankroll of double what you deposited.

On a good casino website, you get more bonuses for being a loyal player. You could receive free playing credits for card games or a free bet on your favourite sport. The amount of rewards you get depends on the generosity of a casino, so you need to choose your casino partners wisely.

Typically, casinos provide Indian gamblers with similar bonuses to the rest of the world. So, if you find an invite for new players to claim 100 free spins, it shouldn’t matter that you come from India. The bonuses are given to all new players regardless of their countries of origin.

Before you claim casino bonuses, though, read their terms and conditions. Casinos give out free spins and bets to lure you into joining their services. Due to that, they place hidden clauses that will force you to deposit more money to the house. Read those terms carefully and only accept bonuses with lenient bonus terms.

Gambling in Indian Lotteries and Horse Racing

Horse racing has been legal in India since 1996. That follows a controversial ruling by the Supreme Court of India that ruled horse betting as a skill-based game. Surprisingly, the same court judged cricket betting to be luck-based. But as absurd as the ruling sounds, it means you can bet on horse racing legally in any part of India. 

Lotteries are also legal in the country. So, if you love to wager on the instant-wins games, there are plenty of places to bet on lotteries locally. You should keep in mind lotteries are competed by millions of people, which makes the chances of winning them ridiculously low.

To Conclude

India prohibits gambling and does not license new casinos. It permits lotteries and horse racing, though. But just because you can’t find a bookmaker or a gambling site in India doesn’t mean you can’t gamble. Hundreds of online casinos welcome Indian players. What’s more, they welcome them with bonuses. So, if you want to engage in casino games, find a top foreign casino. 


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