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What Legal Gambling is available in Odisha?
Odisha’s gambling laws are some of the strictest in India. Legal gambling in Odisha is pretty much confined to placing your bets online.
There is no distinction in Odisha between games of chance and games of skill. There is no state lottery or brick and mortar casinos. Betting on horse racing is not allowed anywhere in the state.
Even playing games like Rummy or Poker for fun requires special permission from the state government.
Betting online in groups can also be considered an illegal activity, so you are best off placing your online bets on your own or playing an Indian online casino by yourself.
The Gambling Laws of Odisha
In the past gambling in Odisha was regulated by three different acts, the Public Gambling Act, 1867, the Bengal Gambling Act of, 1867 and the Madras Gambling Act, 1930.
The confusion created by not knowing which law applied to what led to the state creating the Odisha Prevention of Gambling Act, 1955.
Under this act, all forms of gambling are deemed illegal. These acts are punishable by up to one-month imprisonment and/or up-to ₹100 fine.
The act applies to gaming activities taking place in a physical space, and due to the date it was implemented, does not apply to gambling activities taking place in cyberspace.
Just because gambling is outlawed in Bhubaneswar, doesn’t’ mean there aren’t plenty of gambling dens within the city and the rest of the state.
Illegal casinos in Bhubaneswar pop up regularly, especially during Diwali and Laxmi Puja, but these activities are monitored, and you can find yourself in hot water if you choose to partake. Lots of players also tend to take the chance to play online teen patti during these holidays.
Sikkim is probably where you’ll find the closest brick and mortar casino, but at over 1,000 km away, I’m guessing you’ll want a simpler option.
Luckily, there are several offshore online casinos that can operate within the state.
You can even try them all in an online Live Casino, getting you much closer to the real deal.
Lottery in Odisha
You’ll find yourself in a bit of a bind if you want to buy legal lottery tickets in Odisha.
Although legal at a federal level, via the Lottery Regulation Act, 1988, each state is allowed to decide for themselves if they want to run their own lottery.
Odisha decided against it, and have their own act regulating lotteries in the state, the Orissa State Lottery Rules, 1983.
You can still buy lottery tickets, though. You just need to buy them online. There’s another great benefit to playing online, you can take part in some of the biggest lotteries in the world including the EuroMillions.
Sports Betting in Odisha
Due to the strict laws of gambling in Odisha, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that sports betting in Bhubaneswar is not allowed physically, anywhere in the state.
There is only one state in the whole of Indian, Sikkim, that does allow sports betting.
Of course, Odisha cricket betting is still popular. Let’s face it, legal or not, people are going to want to get in on the action and place their bets on their favourite cricket teams.
You can choose the route of placing your bets illegally at a dodgy gaming den; or you can place your bets, with fair odds, by betting online. Free of fear of negative repercussions.
Games of Skill
According to the gambling laws of Odisha, there is no differentiation between games of skill and games of chance.
Usually, horseracing in India is considered a game of skill, but without a distinction in the state, you’re all out of luck to find a hippodrome in Odisha.
Rummy, Poker and Flush all remain popular games in the state, but even if you want to play them for fun, you’ll need to receive a permit from the local government.
If you do want to play card games in Odisha, you can always play online at one of the sites I have recommended above.