What Legal Gambling is available in Andhra Pradesh?
Andhra Pradesh has some of the strictest state gambling laws in the whole of India.
The more recent regulations were brought on by the massive uptake of online gambling during the lockdowns caused by Covid19. The more people were stuck at home, the more they searched for forms of indoor entertainment, such as online gambling.
In 2020, the state amended their gambling laws to include online betting. This essentially makes all forms of gambling (both in-person and online) illegal and punishable by up to six-month imprisonment.
If you are caught running an online gambling site within the state, the penalty is far greater.
So, it’s no surprise, that you’ll struggle to find any legal gambling in Andhra Pradesh. The only gambling that is still allowed in the state is horse racing.
The Gambling Laws of Andhra Pradesh
The whole of India is regulated under the Public Gambling Act, 1967. Although these regulations cover the whole country, each state can decide on their own gambling rules.
In the case of Andhra Pradesh, they created their own set of regulations under the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 1974. This act essentially follows most Indian states: differentiating between games of luck and games of skill and defining the illegality of gaming houses.
The newest amendment, the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 2020, added a few new rules to the law. These rules essentially placed new strict prohibitions on real money online gambling.
While placing your bets online in other Indian states can be seen as a grey area, it will definitely land you in hot water if you try to gamble online in Andhra Pradesh.
There aren’t any legal casinos in Visakhapatnam, or in the rest of Andhra Pradesh for that matter.
That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of underground casinos in the state. But I wouldn’t recommend playing at any of these casinos, because being caught could lead to a hefty fine or a prison sentence.
It is possible that things might change.
In the last couple of years, there have been talks to create an Andhra Pradesh casino, in the same vein as the floating casinos of Goa. Nothing has been set in motion yet, but it’s at least a little good news, in quite a bleak gambling environment.
Lottery in Andhra Pradesh
There are thirteen states in India that have their own state lotteries, Andhra Pradesh is sadly not one of them.
Considering the strict state gambling laws this isn’t really much of a surprise.
Buying lottery tickets is regulated both by the Andhra Pradesh Lotteries Act of 1968 and the Lotteries Act of 1998.
The only nearby Indian states to allow lottery games are Goa and Kerala. At over 700km away, this probably isn’t your best option.
At present, there is no simple or legal way to buy legal lottery tickets in Andhra Pradesh.
Sports Betting in Andhra Pradesh
You’ll struggle to find a state that allows sports betting in India. To date, you can only officially place sports bets in Sikkim.
Sports betting in Visakhapatnam can’t be done in person or online. As an extension, you won’t find any legal Andhra Pradesh cricket betting.
There are several illegal bookmakers in Andhra Pradesh, with plenty of bets placed daily on football, cricket, tennis, and other popular sports. I strongly recommend that you avoid these at all costs, as you could really get yourself in trouble.
On the plus side, there are no rules on the number of sports you can watch. My suggestion?
If you find yourself in Andhra Pradesh, try to live for the joy of the game.
Games of Skill
Even playing card games in Andhra Pradesh for money is seen as illegal in the state. This applies to games played in person or online. You could even be in jeopardy if you play a friendly game of Rummy with your friends if there is any cash on the table.
The only silver lining?
When it comes to betting in Andhra Pradesh, you can place your bets on live horseracing.
You won’t find any of India’s biggest horseracing tracks, like the Royal Calcutta Turf Club or the Royal Western India Turf Club, in the state, but at least the option exists.
In recent years there have been plans to set up a new track in Andhra Pradesh, with tote centres already set up in several cities; including Vizag and Guntur.