The Gambling Culture in India: History and Current Position

The Gambling Culture in India: History and Current Position

India’s love for gambling did not just start recently. In Ramayana (one of the two major Sanskrit epics of India) which is believed to date as far back as 7300 BC, there were mentions of gambling boards. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the country is deeply in love with gambling.

The world has evolved and India has grown too. Many things have changed over the years. This includes the way we carry out many activities, including gambling.

Today, gambling has become better and bigger in India even though many publicly frown against it. According to reports from a study, the number of gamblers in India increased from 20 million people in 2010 to 250 million in 2018.

When we talk about money made from gambling, India has also been impressive. Experts have predicted that the country’s gambling revenue will hit 340 million dollars yearly by 2021. India is one of the fastest-growing gambling markets in the world today.

There are so many people who like to try their luck in gambling. It is indeed a way with the help of which you can earn a lot of money in very short period of time. But there is a huge risk of losing a great amount of money when your luck will not be with you. So most people are trying to avoid gambling but they may not be able to control their urge of earning money easily.

Let us now move forward to know more about Gambling and its culture in the India country along with its history.

Background of gambling in India

As earlier stated, some gambling activities were recorded in the ancient Hindu Mythologies and literary works. These works speak about the ancient Indians as people with a passion for gambling either to deal with conflicts or to make new friends.

During 2000BC and 1500BC, many Indian rulers developed a passion for rolling dice while making bets with their precious jewelry. Besides, the dice were made using nuts from Vibhitaka trees. Moreover, they believed that gambling was a great way of keeping their minds sound and alert.

Some centuries after, Indians began to accept gambling as a leisure activity, taking it as a form of sport passed down from the older generation. They love sporting activities that involve animals like horses. Thus, horse racing was one of the favorite sports they loved to bet on.

Sporting activities continued to get better in the 15th century and games were organized better. Gambling houses naturally sprang up and became legal, with the King having a share of the profits made there. It was during the fifteenth century that most of the popular Indian gambling games were invented.

The Europeans came three centuries later and introduced cricket to the nation. Indians quickly embraced the game, and it turned into a national sport.

Gambling History 

Many began to bet thousands of rupees on their favorite Cricket teams to win a game. However, the British took over towards the end of the eighteenth century and gambling started to lose its legal character. Betting on horse races, Rummy, and Lottery started facing restrictions in gambling houses.

Nevertheless, Indians continued to enjoy their gambling passion. It even became more popular as betting left the gambling houses into the streets and homes. People even began to stake large amounts of money.

Many years later, the government began to introduce gambling restrictions mostly to fight the addiction that people started to grow.

The Public Gambling Act was introduced in 1867, and it expressly banned games of chance. The law, however, gave states the right to regulate gambling individually. Still, there are only a few states that allow gambling in casinos. Most of the states frown totally against it.

There has been no significant change in the gambling regulation to date. But despite the law, Indians have found a way to continue their passion for gambling.

How online gambling has taken over

Compared to countries like China, the United States, or Australia, India is still young in terms of the online gambling market. Still, the market in India is growing massively, and soon enough, the country might become a world authority when it comes to the gambling industry online.

However, there’s one factor that seems to be limiting India – the law. Domestic casinos and gambling operators are not capable enough to establish online gaming and betting websites.

Nevertheless, offshore casinos have been able to serve online gambling services to Indians. Citizens can pursue their gambling passion by visiting these offshore sites to play their favorite gambling games and place bets on sports.

It could sometimes be tricky to find good online gambling sites. Many people have to depend on review platforms like for recommendations of good casino sites and games to play. These casino sites have also included popular Indian games like Teen Patti and Andar Bahar in their offerings.

At the moment, these foreign companies benefit more from the online gambling revenue in the nation. We can only hope that gambling regulations will change in the nearest future to establish online casinos in the country. This will attract additional revenue for the nation and also grow the industry faster.