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.
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 are not affected by gambling laws in India, which means that they can offer their games to you.
Is gambling legal in West Bengal?
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 legally.
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 prohibit players from playing online.
West Bengal is also one of the rather few 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.
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.
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 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’s, however, many who gamble illegally by betting on cricket in West Bengal.
To circumvent this and place legal 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, one 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, flush, and bridge, 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!
Organizers have to be provided with a license to operate to offer the games, and online sites such as Adda52 and RummyCircle already offer online versions of rummy.
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 easy 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.