How to gamble from Sikkim
As mentioned, there are a few different ways of which you can gamble from Sikkim; the best option for you depends on if you are a Sikkim resident or a visitor:
- Play at any of the three land-based casinos in Sikkim;
- Play at any of the local online casinos located in Sikkim.
- Play at a local online casino;
- Play at foreign online casinos based outside of India.
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Is gambling legal in Sikkim?
Yes, gambling is legal in Sikkim. It’s currently one of three states (Sikkim, Goa, Daman) where gambling is regulated, with more (Meghalaya) possible to join them in the near future.
Online casino games are also legal in Sikkim, available to players located within Sikkim’s borders through a specific intranet, blocking access from outside the state.
Although only licensed casinos are allowed to operate within Sikkim, Indian players can still access and play at foreign online casino sites like Casino Days and Pure Win.
Gambling Laws in Sikkim
As Sikkim has regulated gambling, it comes as no surprise that they follow different gambling laws than the Public Gambling Act, 1867.
Gambling in Sikkim is based on a few different laws:
- Sikkim Regulation of Gambling (Amendment) 2005
- Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008
- Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Rules, 2009
- Sikkim Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 2002
Due to the regulation, these laws are mainly aimed toward organizers of casino games rather than players, but you still have to keep some things in mind.
The Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008
For players like us, it’s The Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008, that is the most relevant to us, as it takes up the concept of “gaming houses.”
The most important thing to not do when gambling in Sikkim is to play at an unlicensed gaming house.
In other words, unless you’re gambling at one of the licensed casinos, don’t play together with other people in a group, as that can very well count as a gaming house.
You’ll get punished for even being in a gaming house, and the punishment often consists of a fine and time in prison.
The laws are similar in other smaller Indian states like Tripura.
Casino in Gangtok
There are three casinos in Gangtok: Casino Deltin Denzong, Casino Sikkim, and Casino Mahjong. Guests of these hotel complexes can enjoy classic table games and slot machines and place bets at stationary betting machines.
That said, only tourists can enter the casinos in Sikkim, meaning that, if you’re a resident, you’ll have to rely on local or foreign online casinos instead.
Casino in Geyzing
Geyzing does not have any land-based casinos for you to visit, but you can still play online from here.
You’re able to either play using the local intranet or make use of foreign online casino sites.
Lottery in Sikkim
You can enjoy playing at the local lottery in Sikkim, thanks to the state being one of thirteen to legalize lottery draws in India.
The lottery in Sikkim is known as the Sikkim State Lottery Sambad, and their recurring draw is called Dear Labhlaxmi Weekly.
For even larger draws, where the prize pool reaches several hundred crores, check out online lottery tickets.
Sports betting in Sikkim
Sikkim is one of two states in all of India where online sports betting is allowed!
Legal forms of sports betting can be done via digital betting devices found within licensed casinos.
If you don’t want to visit a casino, or if you’re a Sikkim resident, you can use an offshore sports betting site like Betway or 10CRIC.
Horse racing in Sikkim
Betting on horse racing is legal in Sikkim under the same rules as sports betting. This means that you’re able to place bets on horse races via the digital betting machines found within casino venues.
There are no horse races organized in Sikkim, as the state does not have a dedicated racecourse.
Foreign online casino sites also offer plenty of odds on horse racing and other horse sports, possibly more so than the ones found at the licensed casinos.
Status on Rummy, Poker, Flush, and other card games
Due to the license of both games of skill and chance in Sikkim, playing rummy, poker, and other card games can be tricky.
As a player, you’re able to play, but since India-based Rummy apps can face fines for offering players of Sikkim their games, they won’t offer it to you.
Your best bet for card games in Sikkim is to play the ones found at the casinos or to head online.
Online gambling sites based outside of India have a large number of card games available, even poker!
To sum it up
Sikkim takes the prize of being the most liberal Indian state when it comes to gambling!
You can play games like Andar Bahar, Teen Patti, and slot machines online and at land-based casinos in Gangtok.
As with most Indian states, gaming houses are illegal, even being in one can get you in trouble. So no matter if you’re playing at local or foreign online casinos, always make sure not to do so from within an unlicensed gaming house.
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.