Gambling is widespread in India despite being illegal because of poverty, unemployment, lack of basic needs and easy money. In India, except in a few States, gambling was illegalised as it destroyed many lives. Gambling prevails in India from the ancient times itself. During 3300 B.C, the dice was made and used by the people of Indus Valley. Moreover, gambling is also mentioned in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, the two most famous Sanskrit epics. Thus, it is seen that the mankind and gambling are connected since the origination. However, in modern definition, according to oxford dictionary, the word gambling means, “play games of chance for money” which means gambling is not a game which can be won by skills but by luck and it is played for money. Some of the examples of gambling are- lotteries, poker, card games, sports betting, casino gambling, etc.


There is no specific law for gambling in India but according to Schedule 7 of the Constitution of India under the State list, the State can have their own legislation regarding betting and gambling. As a result of lack of unification there is an ambiguity of gambling laws in India. Though gambling is prohibited both online and offline many activities still take place and it cannot be categorized as crime due to historical and cultural importance. However, Goa, Sikkim and Union Territory of Daman are some regions where casinos are legal. Lottery selling is legal in about 13 states.


Some of the Acts which are brought into force by the states which contemplates gambling are

  • Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887
  • Punjab Public Gambling Act, 1867
  • The Delhi Public Gambling Act, 1955
  • Tamil Nadu Gambling Act, 1930
  • Assam Gambling and Betting Act, 1970
  • Meghalaya Prevention of Gambling Act, 1970
  • Uttar Pradesh Public Gambling Act, 1961


  1. The Public Gambling Act,1867
  2. The Information Technology Act, 2000
  3. The Payment and Settlement Act, 2007


In the case of Bimalendu De v. Union of India, famously known as Kaun Banega Crorepati Case, Calcutta High Court held that KBC is not a game which can be considered under the Prize Competitions Act, 1955 because this acts only includes competitions which is based on aptitudes, numerical and alphabetical puzzles.

In Ramachandra K. v. Sub Inspector of Police, it was decided by the Kerala High Court that playing rummy will lead to the violation of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960.

In case of State of Andhra Pradesh v. K. Satyanaraya and ors., it was judged that rummy is not a game of skill, this judgement was given after testing the game which means the Supreme Court specifically tested this game to give judgement.


Any kind of game of chance or public gambling is prohibited and is illegal. One has to pay a huge amount of penalty if caught. A proper analysis must be done to create new laws regarding gambling which will help to increase the economic structure in a developing country like India and will also reduce the rate of crime.

Authored by- Nirzana Banikya, Guwahati, Assam.


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