The debate on legalizing online casinos rages on in the US. Even other western nations like Australia are outlawing foreign operators. Where will online gambling enthusiasts look towards? According to popular website RightCasino, ‘India is heavily tipped to be the next major player’. In the following paragraphs, we discuss all the reasons why this is so, and we will zero in on the online gambling scene in the state of Goa.
Indian Gambling Laws at a Glance
The 1949 Indian Constitution grants rights to each state to formulate its own regulations regarding betting. This is similar to the US, where each state has its own policies on both online and offline gambling. That is why there is a lot of disparity. In fact, only 3 states in Indian (Sikkim, Daman, and Goa) grant rights to casinos to operate freely. In other states, like Maharashtra, gambling is a punishable offense. But even earlier, in the late 19th century, the Public Gaming Act of 1867 enacted by the British made the establishment of ‘gambling houses’ a crime.
As we can clearly see, none of these laws have been updated to take into account the rise of online casinos. In 2011, the Federal Information Technology Act as passed which blocked any gambling website that hosted real-money games to appear on Indian ISPs. However, this has not stopped million of Indians from accessing online casinos. However, laws pertaining to real world gambling reflect on online casinos as well, so that Goa, Daman, and Sikkim don’t prohibit their citizens from accessing these websites.
The Gambling Scene in Goa
Despite being one of the only 3 states in India to legalize gambling, Goa has a vibrant gambling scene. It has the highest number of casinos in the country, total 10. Some of the best casinos in Goa are as follows:
• Casino Paradise (owned by the Pride Group)
• Casino Pride (the games are standard, but this casino is famous for hosting grand poker tournaments and also offering larger-than-life entertainment)
However, the most popular of Goa’s casinos are the floating ones. Examples include Casino Goa, which is located on the M.V. Caravela yacht. It is a joint venture of Casinos Austria and the Advani Pleasure Cruise Co Ltd featuring games like American Roulette, Rummy, etc. As live gambling is largely outlawed in the country, these floating casinos offer people a change to engage in casino games off the mainland. Other amazing floating casinos in Goa include:
• Casino Carnival (now known as ‘Casino Pride 2’)
• Deltin Royale (the newest and largest luxury floating casino in Goa)
• Deltin Jaqk (previously known as Casino Royale)
The way technology is flourishing in India, especially in regards to mobile internet usage leads many onlookers to predict a vibrant online gambling in the country, provided proper regulations are made. Considering the current online gambling and betting uptake in the presently regulated markets, governments of other states may follow behind Goa and Sikkim in legalizing online casinos.