Gambling in Karnataka is, just like gambling in most other Indian states, quite an ordeal. Some types of games are allowed, and others aren’t, which can confuse even the most dedicated punters from placing their bets. To help you navigate the stormy seas of gambling laws in Karnataka, we created this useful guide to introduce you to all the important topics. Without further ado, let’s explain what gambling in this beautiful state is all about, if it is legal or not, and how you can surpass certain bans.
Gambling Laws in Karnataka
Gambling laws in this state can be described as very strict and not very tolerant. Well, at least when it comes to gambling. There are two main laws enforced: Karnataka Police Act, 1963 and the Public Gambling Act, 1867. Both of them are quite old and correspond with the real needs of the gambling market or modern consumers’ habits. It is important to say how the Karnataka Police Act, 1963 is the more modern one. According to it, being caught gambling is one of the less heinous offenses (156. c).
Furthermore, it reveals all about gaming houses. It even says that “whoever is found in any common gaming-house gaming or present for gaming shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment which may extend to one year and with fine”. For the first offense, you get up to a month of imprisonment plus a 200 INR fine, on the second offence, the imprisonment can be up to three months (plus the money fine of 200 INR), and on the third offense, up to 6 months, plus 500 INR fine. Considering the opposition against the gambling industry is growing stronger, we can only expect these fines to grow in the future.
Casinos in Bangalore
There are no traditional casinos in Bangalore. It is impossible to find parlours with spinning roulette wheels, flashy slots, and other games. A lot of water will pass under the bridge before we see a casino in Karnataka. Still, there are a few rummy and poker parlours, as such activities are considered games of skill and not games of chance. As you can see, every casino in Bangalore is quite limited in terms of game variety.
Are there any alternatives? Of course, there are! You can always visit land-based casinos in Sikkim, Daman, and Goa. These provide endless hours of the best casino entertainment. Keep in mind that such escapades might be a big setback for your budget. Alternatively, sign up with offshore casinos. Karnataka online casinos are still not banned, and they operate from all over the world, providing a premium online gaming experience for customers like you. You can even play online poker in Karnataka, as long as you sign up with big and reliable poker platforms that put your pleasure in the first place.
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Lottery in Karnataka
It is impossible to buy lottery tickets legally in Karnataka. The High Court of Karnataka banned all lotteries back in 2007. The main reason for this unpopular move was the market flooded with cheap tickets that exposed the most underprivileged groups of society to enormous financial risk. Even though most citizens consider this lottery ban to be absurd, it remains in power to this day. Every year, local authorities lose Rs 10,000 crore because of the ban.
To buy lottery tickets, you can:
- Travel outside the state border to purchase the ticket.
- Buy lottery tickets online.
Online lottery is one of the hottest trends in Karnataka online gambling. You can choose to buy tickets or bet on the lottery. Allow us to explain. You can buy an online ticket and bet on numbers 1,2, or 3, or you can bet that 1, 2, and 3 will be drawn. Online lottery is far more exciting than land-based; prizes are way bigger, and there are more winning possibilities. Some customers even gather in clusters to increase their chances of winning.
Horse Betting in Karnataka
Horse betting in Karnataka is one of the very few types of gambling allowed! It is considered to be a game of skill, as it relies on punters’ knowledge rather than mere luck. After all, bettors eagerly analyze statistics, learn about breeds and jockeys, only to make an educated guess. Horse racing is legalized under the Mysore Race Course, Licensing Act, 1952, and limits the betting services only to a tiny group of authorized operators. Operators have to be members of the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC). Considering horse racing is 100% legal and regulated, it is also very popular. People travel from all over the state to visit prestigious racecourses and wager on cash or credit.
Visitors to races such as Kingfisher Derby can wager in different forms. There are fixed odds, flexible odds, and even totes. Totes is a special prize pool that gathers all the bets and distributes them among winning customers. Nowadays, it is completely computerized, so there is no room for mistakes. Unfortunately, we have to say how some racecourses are notorious and have a bad rep for fixing races.
Gambling Games You Can Play in Karnataka
Rummy and poker are the two most popular games in Karnataka. The great news is that you never have to visit offshore casinos to play them. Land-based poker and rummy clubs are more than common and have been made legal by the local authorities. Still, gambling clubs used to experience frequent raids as police failed to understand the difference between games of skill and games of chance. In October 2013, after Indian Poker Association (IPA) filed a petition in the High Court, the authorities definitely announced it to be a game of skill. Poker clubs don’t require any special licenses. When it comes to rummy, it has always been considered a game of skill, but especially after the M.J. Sivani And Ors vs the State Of Karnataka And Ors on 17 April 1995 case. All rummy clubs must have a special license.
Unfortunately, when it comes to online games of skill, Karnataka authorities are not so open-minded. There have been several initiatives to ban online games of skill, jhandi munda and rummy for high stakes has been successfully banned. Now, the High Court has to decide to ban or keep online gambling altogether. Until it makes a decision, be sure to play all your favourite games at online casinos while you still can.
Sports Betting in Karnataka
We have already explained how horse racing betting is allowed in Karnataka, but what about all other sports? Soccer? Basketball? Cricket betting in Karnataka? Unfortunately, according to the Public Gaming Act, 1867m sports betting is considered to be a game of chance, and therefore, is not allowed in Karnataka. Of course, this doesn’t mean there is no betting.
Many people decide to take their money to illegal bookies, operating near big sports terrains and stadiums. Others prefer online sports betting that takes place with licensed offshore bookies. We definitely recommend joining online sportsbooks, as they are not only licensed but also deliver a wide range of sports, great odds, and some great bonuses that can boost your balance in no time.
How to Gamble from Karnataka?
As you have probably already learned, it is not impossible to gamble while living in Karnataka, albeit it is slightly more complicated than in many other states (or countries, for that matter). Considering the complex and complicated regulatory framework, we strongly suggest you stick with offshore gambling brands that operate through websites. For the time being, they haven’t been banned yet, and you can utilize everything they have to offer – a great variety of sports, an outstanding selection of games, 24/7 availability, and even some bonuses to boost your balance.
We always advise you to find your online casino among the real money casinos we reviewed. All our reviews are 100% non-biased, written by industry experts, and provide an incredible insight into all the fine print you might miss.
If you prefer to do things on your own, here are the most important points to focus on:
- license, preferably by the UKGC, Curacao, or the MGA
- variety of games and sports, depending on your interests
- bonus offers and, even more important, bonus terms and wagering requirements
- the quality of mobile and desktop platform
- the quality of customer support
- variety of payment methods, withdrawal limits, and payout time
As you can see, finding a good online casino is quite an ordeal, so why not just take an easy way out, and sign up with brands we recommend?
Future of Gambling in Karnataka
What does the future hold for players and gambling enthusiasts in Karnataka? It is impossible to say, and we can only guess. Still, even with things as uncertain as to the future, some things indicate what might happen.
With the ever louder opposition against gambling, Karnataka authorities are about to make an important decision – will they, or will they not ban online gambling? If they allow it, they will gain much more funds for the treasury, as customers will have to pay taxes on their winnings. They might even decide to license high-quality casinos and gain even more revenue. If they choose to ban them, they must keep in mind that gamblers will always gamble, no matter what the authorities say and do. Restrictive laws don’t prevent people from gambling but push them towards scammy and dangerous brands instead. This means they also get exposed to a much higher risk, unfair treatment, and payout complications.
Let’s hope Karnataka lawmakers will act with a grain of salt and choose the option that will be the most beneficial for everyone. And who knows, one day, we might even see land-based casinos legalized.
- 1️⃣ Is gambling legal in Karnataka?
- Only certain types of gambling are not forbidden in Karnataka, such as horse racing betting, games of skill, and online casinos. We explained every one of these in the article above, so make sure to revisit it.
- 2️⃣ Who can gamble in Karnataka?
- All citizens of legal age can gamble, as long as they pšlace wagers on allowed categories. We always advise you to stick with regulated offshore brands and avoid private clubs and joints.
- 3️⃣ Is the lottery legal in Karnataka?
- There is no national or state lottery, but you can always travel to neighbouring states or buy tickets online. Karnataka banned all lottery companies and vendors back in 2007.
- 4️⃣ Can I play online rummy in Karnataka?
- You can play online rummy as long as you don’t play it for high stakes.
- 5️⃣ Are there any casinos in Karnataka?
- There are no classic casinos in Karnataka, but you can always play at some poker and rummy parlours.