Karnataka Gambling Laws

Karnataka recently attempted to join the number of Indian states where a ban on online gambling applies. However, the attempt was struck down in the decision of All India Gaming Federation v. State of Karnataka.

In short, this means that there is currently no blanket bank on online gaming and that the laws for gambling still closely follow those of the national gambling laws.

Rummy and horse racing have their own rules, and online casino sites remain available.

This guide leads you through the normally confusing legal landscape of Karnataka in an easy-to-read way that gets you up and gambling in no time!

Surbhi Soni Senior Associate at Touchstone Partners

Audited by Surbhi Soni

Senior Associate at Law Firm Touchstone Partners

Last audit on 12th April 2022

How to gamble from Karnataka

In short, gambling is illegal in Karnataka. No matter if you do it at a gaming house, on the street, or in a public place. It’s not allowed. The only way to enjoy gaming without the worry of legal hassle is via foreign online casinos. For example, a Bangalore man won 40 lakh rupees at Casino Days.

Karnataka’s laws are old, and lean heavily on the Indian Public Gambling Act, 1867. Recent attempts tried to amend the law to also include cyberspace, mobiles, computers, and tablets, without luck.

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As mentioned above, gambling, as such, is not legal in Karnataka. The laws prevent gambling operators from establishing and offering betting and casino games to residents and visitors.

However, as a player, you can still access thousands of different online casino games by using offshore gambling sites.

Not only can you play casino games without issues, but you can also bet on the latest cricket and Kabaddi matches, as well as many other sports events globally.

Gambling Laws in Karnataka

Gambling in Karnataka is regulated by the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, and the national Public Gambling Act, 1867. Both of these laws are quite old, and while the state recently attempted to amend the Karnataka Police Act to reflect the recent surge in online gambling, the attempt failed.

While the Information Technology Act, 2000, is in place to restrict access to offshore gambling sites from India, there’s currently no blanket ban on online casino games that would make it illegal for you to play these games at your own discretion.

No Indian player has been prosecuted for playing at an offshore gambling site as of yet.

Karnataka Police Act, 1963

Organizing and running illegal betting or gaming houses is illegal in Karnataka as per Chapter VII of the Karnataka Police Act,1963.

Gambling or even being present at a deemed illegal place is an offense that risks imprisonment and fines.

The Act does specify that these laws apply to all games of chance and that horse racing and state lottery are excluded from the regulations.

Casino in Bengaluru

Playing legal casino in Bengaluru will leave you with poker and Rummy games, available at registered vendors throughout the city.

However, if you’d like to play hundreds of other casino games such as slots, Andar Bahar, or Teen Patti, you’ll have to head online.

Although B’luru is a center for gamblers from all over India due to the availability and lax laws, online casino sites based elsewhere are easier to use, not to mention safer.

Casino in Mangalore

Mangalore casino culture isn’t that different from the one in Bengaluru.

Although Bengaluru, being a much larger city, has a larger number of both legal and illegal venues and the largest horse racing clubs, the laws are the same.

Mangalore residents can enjoy Rummy, poker, and horse racing as per Karnataka gaming laws, and have the freedom to gamble online.

In other words, no matter where you live in Karnataka, casino fun is just one click away.

Karnataka FAQ

No, gambling is not legal in Karnataka as per the Karnataka Police Act. However, the act does not specifically ban online gambling.
You can bet online at your own discretion from Karnataka via any foreign licensed online betting site.
It’s technically possible to play online lottery legally from Karnataka. Just make sure to play at a lottery site not based in India.

Lottery in Karnataka

Although lottery is excluded from the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, lotteries are at the same time completely banned in the state.

Confusing, we know.

To bet on lottery draws, you’ll have to travel outside of state borders or buy an online lottery ticket.

The online sites allow you to participate in draws of some of the world’s largest lotteries, such as Powerball and EuroJackpot.

Sports betting in Karnataka

The discussion on if sports betting should be legal has been going on for years in India.

Unfortunately, betting on sports outcomes is currently considered a game of chance, making it illegal as per the Public Gaming Act, 1867.

That said, Bengaluru is one of the largest hubs for cricket betting in India, where the bets are placed with illegal bookies.

If you are looking to place sports bets, we’d recommend using a foreign casino, as they have the best odds and safe payment methods.

Horse racing in Karnataka

Karnataka is home to two of India’s largest horse racing tracks; the Bangalore Race Course and the Mysore Race Course.

Each course has a club, the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) and the Mysore Race Club. Horse racing is legal through these clubs as per the Mysore Race Courses Licensing Act, 1952.

Punters can place bets at the race tracks or via any of the off-site Turf Points scattered throughout the state. It’s also possible to place bets on races run outside of Karnataka from here.

Status on Rummy, Poker, Flush, and other card games

Since both Rummy and poker are considered games of skill, they are legal to play in Karnataka. Rummy was confirmed as a game of skill in the M.J. Sivani And Ors vs State Of Karnataka And Ors on 17 April, 1995 case.

“The game of Rummy is not a game entirely of chance like the ‘three- card’ game …. The ‘three-card’ game which goes under different names such as ‘flush,’ ‘brag’ etc. is a game of pure chance. Rummy on the other hand, requires certain amount of skill because the fall of the cards has to be memorized and the building up of Rummy requires considerable skill in holding and discarding cards. … It is mainly and preponderantly a game of skill. The chance in Rummy is of the same character as the chance in a deal at a game of bridge.”

Court quote in State of AP. v. K. Satyanarayana

Any local organizer of the game has to have registered under the Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act of 1959, or the Karnataka Societies Registration Act of 1960.

To sum it up

At the end of the day, it’s clear that online casino sites can offer Indians gambling in a way that no Indian state can do.

Foreign gambling sites allow you to use secure payment methods such as Paytm, Google Pay, and PhonePe, while enjoying hundreds, sometimes thousands, of games.

While land-based venues in Karnataka will offer poker and Rummy, they are not 100% safe, nor are they subject to regular visits from independent auditors to confirm fairness.

The online casinos we list here at SevenJackpots follow some of the world’s most strict regulations to ensure YOUR safety.

In other words, playing online is a no-brainer.

Disclaimer: This material is for general information only and is not intended as legal advice and no duty of care is owed to any reader. The readers of this material are requested to engage their own legal counsel in order to make any legal or business decisions and to obtain legal advice specific to them.

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