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What Legal Gambling is available in West Bengal?
While some states have very strict rules when it comes to gambling, there are a few that are much more liberal. One of these more liberal states, where there are several laws allowing for legal gambling, is West Bengal.
Although quite a few forms of gambling are currently not allowed in the state, there are plenty of ways you can still place your bets and win real money.
Both the lottery and betting on horse races is completely legal in the state. As is wagering on games of skill. While you can’t play at a public gambling house, you are able to place your bets at an online casino.
The Gambling Laws of West Bengal
If you find yourself in West Bengal, you’ll want to know exactly what gambling laws relate to the state.
The state is regulated by the West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competition Act of 1957 and the West Bengal State Lottery Rules of 1968. As well as at a federal level by the Public Gambling Act of 1867 and the Lotteries Regulation Act of 1998.
Under these regulations, West Bengal allows many more forms of gambling to take place. For example, West Bengal is one of the handful of states that allows for a state lottery.
As one of the most populous areas, not only in the country but in the world, it’s no surprise that Kolkata has a massive number of punters who partake both in legal and illegal forms of betting.
At the moment, games of chance and public gaming houses are not allowed in West Bengal. Meaning there are no legal casinos in Kolkata.
On the plus side, you can still place your bets on most casino games. All you need to do is wager online, at an online casino based outside of India. So there are legal West Bengal online casinos.
If you really do want to play at a brick-and-mortar casino legally, you’ll need to head across the state border to Sikkim. The only other option is to play at an illegal West Bengal casino, which might result in a three-month prison sentence and up to a ₹500 fine.
Lottery in West Bengal
West Bengal has the privilege to be one of the 13 states that have completely legalised the lottery. The West Bengal lottery is regulated by the West Bengal State Lottery Rules of 1968, and at a federal level by the Lottery Regulation Act of 1998.
The lottery is run on a daily basis, with three draws taking place every day. You can buy legal lottery tickets in West Bengal for ₹6.
Beyond that you can also visit lottery sites based outside of India. International lotteries often have huge jackpots, so it’s definitely worth your while to give them a try.
Sports Betting in West Bengal
Unfortunately, sports betting Kolkata is not legal. Unless, of course, you want to bet on horseracing, which like most of India, is allowed.
That also means West Bengal cricket betting is only allowed if you place your bets online. That’s not to say that plenty of illegal betting doesn’t take place, especially due to the popularity of both the IPL and the local IPL team, the Kolkata Knight Riders.
People living in the state are also renowned for being massive fans of football. Luckily, there are plenty of great online sportsbooks that are based offshore that will happily take your bets on both cricket and football.
Games of Skill
The fact that games of skill are allowed in the state is also the reason that betting on horse racing is allowed, since there is a relative amount of skill used to place this sort of bet.
The subject of playing poker legally for money in the state has been up for debate for some time. But the state has repeatedly ruled in favour of allowing the game.
But when in doubt, you can allows play your favourite games online at a poker room based outside of India.