West Bengal is a state that has a more laid-back approach towards the gambling industry. In this article, we will discuss the most important gambling laws in West Bengal and how different aspects of the industry are regulated. Keep reading to find out everything there is about West Bengal casinos, betting on cricket and horses, fines, gambling laws and regulations that may affect your good time in any way.
Gambling Laws in West Bengal
One of the most important West Bengal betting laws is the West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competition Act, 1957. Despite being more than 50 years old, it is still very much in power. It is so old that the local authorities haven’t put any effort into adding the progressive online betting and gaming industry under its jurisdictions.
To put it simply, West Bengal recognized the difference between a game of chance like Jhandi Munda and a game of skill like Poker. It allows all sorts of games of skill, without limitations on the stake size. However, you have to keep in mind games of chance are not allowed. As a fairly liberal state, West Bengal doesn’t interfere with offshore casinos operating in the state. This is also one of the few states that recognize the difference between a person running a gaming house and a person who only visits it. The fines depend on your role during the arrest. Those running gambling joints can face up to ₹2,000 and 6 months in prison. Guests get up to three months in prison and a ₹500 fine.
Casinos in Kolkata
You might face some difficulties in finding a casino in Kolkata or any other city, for that matter. Casinos in West Bengal are reduced to gambling clubs, so don’t expect to see shiny ball gowns or guys in a tuxedo. Of course, some clubs are more exclusive than others, but Kolkata is not exactly a Monte Carlo.
If you want to experience the glitz and glamour, the easiest way to do so is to visit Goa, Sikkim, or Daman. Those three states have legalized gambling and provide land-based casino licenses. Some casino houses operate on water and others on land, so we are sure you’ll have the time of your life. Still, don’t expect to see the same variety as in European or Las Vegas casinos. Indian casinos tend to have a slightly different range of games, but you’ll get used to it quickly.
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Lottery in West Bengal
Lottery in West Bengal is 100% allowed and supported by the state. The Directorate of State Lotteries runs it. Two laws regulate this type of gambling: The Lotteries Regulation Act, 1998, and the West Bengal State Lottery Rules, 1968. In 2011, a great amendment to the law was introduced. Since then, lotteries are obligated to pay as much as $1,700 for each draw. Plus, they also have to provide $8,500 for bumper draws. Nowadays, there are draws every day of the week, with six big ones being organized to fit the celebratory calendar and big festivals.
It is necessary to mention how lottery operators pay a whopping 28% tax which is quite discouraging. Also, the obligatory limit set on prize funds made many smaller operators close their doors. This is why more and more citizens turn to international operators and online lottery.
Horse Betting in West Bengal
Horse betting is 100% legal in West Bengal, but there are certain rules to it. According to the West Bengal Gambling & Prize Competition Act, 1957, all betting providers must have a valid license provided by the state. Furthermore, the wagers can be accepted only on the racecourse and not on the streets.
Considering this state is home to Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC), it is not surprising that this is one of the most popular types of betting. It is also possible to bet online, but only on a special platform and ECTC races. Also, you can’t place such wagers at home but have to use special devices located directly in the stadium. Even though this move may seem a bit silly, especially nowadays when we all have the entire world of the internet in our pockets, it is a big step forward for the Indian gaming industry.
Gambling Games You Can Play in West Bengal
In West Bengal, you can play all sorts of skill-based games. These include poker, rummy online and offline options, bridge, and other popular titles that are well-known to every gambling aficionado.
You can join tables in special clubs run by authorized companies. Also, there are plenty of online sites that provide this type of entertainment. Also, more and more customers turn to West Bengal online casinos. Raids in poker clubs are not uncommon, but as long as you know where you are going and what you are going, there is no reason to be afraid.
Sports Betting in West Bengal
There are many sports betting rackets operating, and getting prosecuted by the authorities. We would never advise you to be in their company or take your money there, no matter their promises.
Still, you can place wagers with great odds by joining some of the most popular online bookies. We reviewed plenty of them so you can easily find the one that fits you and your expectations in every way.
How to Gamble from West Bengal
As you have probably noticed, there are many ways to gamble in West Bengal. But the most exciting type of gambling is provided by the West Bengal online gambling sites. Such websites include thousands and thousands of games and sometimes even provide a sportsbook on the same domain. Furthermore, they have plenty of bonuses that can boost your balance through the roof. Many customers prefer this online platform, as it is miles away from local West Bengal operators that focus only on one game or two games.
Offshore regulatory bodies usually regulate international casinos. Available on mobile and desktop, they deliver a top-notch gaming experience 24/7. Most such sites support payments in INR for maximum player satisfaction and even include local payment methods such as UPI to keep your costs as low as possible.
Future of Gambling in West Bengal
Gamblers in West Bengal are in a far better position than many of their peers all over India. After all, this state is much more liberal and open towards all types of gambling industries. It will by no means become Las Vegas, but it is not acting to be blind either. It recognized the opportunities on the market and the needs of consumers all over West Bengal and strives to create a balance between safety and liberalization. Furthermore, it doesn’t undermine financial prosperity betting and gambling can bring, but act carefully, yet friendly, by allowing certain aspects to be offered to citizens.
It can be presumed such an approach will continue in the future. Maybe we’ll also see some new amendments to the law. Who knows, 10 years from now, the authorities might even tackle the issue of offshore casinos and decide to provide local licenses to betting and gaming operators.
We can also expect major changes in the online betting industry, especially cricket. This sport brings millions of dollars to the state every year, and there are many initiatives from the sport’s insiders pledging the lawmakers to provide a regulated betting environment. This still hasn’t happened. But that doesn’t mean it won’t.
- 1️⃣ Is gambling legal in West Bengal?
- Gambling is legal in West Bengal, at least for the most part. Games of chance are still considered to be illegal.
- 2️⃣ Can I play the lottery in West Bengal?
- Yes, you can play both online and land-based lottery. The biggest prizes come around the biggest holidays and festivities, so make sure to plan accordingly.
- 3️⃣ Can I bet on sports in West Bengal?
- Betting on sports is possible through online betting platforms. We wouldn’t recommend placing wagers with unauthorized land-based organizations, as police raids might get you in trouble.
- 4️⃣ Can I visit a Casino in Kolkata?
- Unfortunately, there are no casinos in Kolkata, but you can still have a blast playing at online casinos. Alternatively, you can visit gambling houses or go to Goa, Daman, or Sikkim for a real casino experience.