West Bengal Gambling Laws

Players located in West Bengal can breathe easy when it comes to gambling from within state borders.

The state of West Bengal has a more liberal view on gambling than most states. Several legal options for gambling are available.

Residents can enjoy lottery, horse racing, and certain card games completely legally. There’s also a rather loose view on online gambling, due to their gambling act not mentioning online games.

Last updated on 23rd September 2021

Published: 25/09/2020

Categories: Guides, Guides Gambling Laws

How to gamble from West Bengal

Gambling from West Bengal is quite easy, as long as you do it online.

Since the state hasn’t imposed any specific restrictions on online gambling, players can enjoy thousands of casino games from their homes and mobile phones.

Foreign online gambling sites aren’t exposed to many risks by offering games in India, seeing as the gambling laws in India primarily focuses on local casinos.

All you need to do is sign up and play at a foreign site such as Pure Win or 10CRIC!

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Yes, and no. Gambling, as such, is not legal, since the majority of casino games are based on chance.

Gaming-houses are, for example, completely illegal to run, visit, and gamble at, while you at the same time can find licensed operators offering various card games fully available to you.

Since foreign casino sites aren’t prioritized by Bengal police, no Bengali player has been prosecuted for playing at one.

Gambling Laws in West Bengal

The laws of West Bengal are quite straightforward. Their laws were created in 1957, and are found in the West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competition Act, 1957.

Since the Act is over 60 years old, there’s no mention of online gambling or offshore casinos.

The restrictions against online gambling are only covered by the Information Technology Act, 2000, which does not explicitly mention players playing online.

West Bengal is also one of the states that acknowledge certain card games to be skill-based.

West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competition Act, 1957

The act focuses on gaming-houses and other forms of gambling done in an organized manner in a distinct location.

The maximum punishment for organizing a gaming-house is imprisonment of three years and a fine of ₹2,000. The punishment for being found in a gaming-house is imprisonment for a minimum of three months and up to ₹500 fine.

The West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competition Act, 1957, clarifies that some games are legal, such as lottery, horse racing, rummy, and poker.

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Casino in Kolkata

Rummy and horse racing are popular ways to gamble in Kolkata.

While horse racing is restricted to land-based betting, rummy has a large online presence.

Foreign online casino sites are yet to start offering rummy, but instead, they offer a large selection of other table games such as roulette, Andar Bahar, Teen Patti, and blackjack.

Casino in Asansol

Despite the lack of a physical casino in Asansol, players still engage in various types of gambling.

Although Asansol residents would have to travel to Kolkata to place local bets on horse racing, rummy and poker venues are still available, as are online casino sites.

Since offshore gambling sites don’t discriminate, Bengali players can enjoy the latest slot games and live casino excitement using their computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

Lottery in West Bengal

West Bengal has a state-run lottery, run by The Directorate of State Lotteries.

The lottery needs to meet the criteria of The Lotteries Regulation Act, 1998, and the West Bengal State Lottery Rules, 1968.

West Bengal lotteries has six Bumper Draws per year, directly related to festival events. There are also seven weekly lottery draws, which are part of the Lottery Sambad, better known as Dhankesari.

International lotteries are also available via lottery casino sites based outside of India.

Sports betting in West Bengal

Sports that don’t fall under horse racing are considered illegal to bet on. This is pretty much the same no matter where in India you are.

Since Eden Gardens are located in Kolkata, there are, however, many who gamble illegally by betting on cricket in West Bengal.

To circumvent this and place bets on sports, use a foreign online casino site such as Betway.

Horse racing in West Bengal

Horse racing is a big thing in West Bengal, and it is organized by the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC).

Betting on horse racing can be made at the Kolkata Race Course, as no off-course betting centers are permitted.

However, on the 8th of July 2020, the Government of West Bengal Finance Department approved online betting on the Royal Calcutta Turf Club’s races.

These online bets are to be placed using computers located at the RCTC race-course.

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

Card games such as rummy, poker, and flush are defined as “games of skill,” according to clause 12 of the Public Gaming Act, 1867. For Bengali players, this means that these card games are legal!

If you choose to gamble online, casino sites usually have various poker tables, and some even offer poker rooms where you can play against other players.

To sum it up

Desi players of West Bengal can breathe easily when it comes to gambling.

The state is liberal, and although it’s not a full gambling regulation, the gaming acts in place allow for legal gameplay, even locally.

That said, local games are incredibly restricted, which is why we still highly recommend you to instead choose to gamble online.

Not only will you benefit from safe, secure, and fair games, you can also be sure that your money is kept safe by using a trusted payment method such as Google Pay or Paytm.

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Punya Varma Associate at Touchstone Partners

Last audited on 1st July 2021

By Punya Varma

Associate at Law Firm Touchstone Partners

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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