Why is betting on horse racing legal in India?

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Why is betting on horse racing legal in India?

The notion of considering gambling as something negative or demonic used to prevail in India. Even though things are changing with the advent of online sportsbooks, casinos, and more, gambling in India remains a contentious topic.

The states have deployed laws and stringent measures to prohibit betting. Even the ones that allowed it made sure that it is happening under their control. But, all these factors are in constant flux considering the sport you are talking about. For instance, betting on horse races is legal in India, while other forms still struggle to seek approval from the state.

Therefore, this post will cover the essentials regarding why horse racing betting is legal in India.

Let’s take a look.

The law’s point of view

Even though there are stringent measures to prohibit gambling practices, Goa and Sikkim have allowed establishments to conduct it with restrictions. It is because of the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling. Act of 1976 that enables five-star hotels and offshore ships or vessels to allow gambling. In Sikkim, the Sikkim Casino Games (Control and Tax Rules) in 2002 serves a similar purpose.

This brings us to the waters of void contracts. But first, let’s understand what a wagering contract is. It is a type of contract by which two parties hold opposing views regarding the outcomes of an event and agree that either party’s favourable results will secure a win. The win can include money or any other stakes.

Under the Indian Contract of 1872, a wagering contract is void and cannot be sustained in a court of law. However, exceptions are made if the amount to be paid or won is more than INR 500 in horse race bets.

If horse betting is legal, then why not other sports?
The good news is that the state has adopted an open mind regarding the possibility of legalising sports betting. Moreover, various stakeholders have realised the immense potential and benefits that sports betting can have.

For instance, a report published by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in 2013 valued the sports betting industry at 3 lakh crores. Hence, just like horse betting, the future of other sports betting avenues looks bright.

The reason why horse race betting is legal in India

The objectives of legalising sports betting in India revolve around the definition of a ‘game of skill.’ For instance, a part of online poker growth can amount to the involvement of skill. Similarly, horse racing is a game of skill that minimises the score for ‘chances.’

Based on this principle, horse race betting is legal in India. It is also important to note that its legality can be good news for other sports.

Horse race betting – a game of skill
Horse race betting requires you to learn about the players, horses involved, their form, the racetrack, among multiple other things. Placing a wager on this sport necessitates research and a thorough understanding of the mentioned pointers. You must look at various horse racing betting tips before setting out to place a wager.

For instance, horse betting involves various forms of wagers like horizontal, vertical, and exotic bets. It is essential to understand the difference between them. Furthermore, there are multiple online trustworthy sportsbooks you can check to bet on horse races. Since they revolve around steering the user experience and rendering stellar odds, it is essential to choose the right one.


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