August 25, 2017
| On 4 years ago

Gambling Laws in Goa

By Avtar Singh

Gambling in India is a major problem for both people who want to make it legal, but also for those who want to keep it strictly controlled. Both sides bring strong arguments when it comes to gambling and betting laws in India. There are a few states where the gambling laws are different, and such a state is Goa.

The critics say that gambling is addictive and leads to money laundering and corruption, while others say that it could be a great source of money for the state due to taxes.

Depending on each game and states, there are different laws and rules. For example, the game of rummy is considered a game of skill, and not a game of chance. While some people say that you can win if you’re lucky, the gambling laws in Goa and other states in India say that you need to have specific skills, knowledge, and experience to win the game.

It is true that you can’t win only by luck, and you need practice and experience, but there’s also a chance involved. It is same with online poker and online fantasy cricket, but as long as the laws say that it is a game of skills and not a game of luck, it could be legal in some states.

Firstly, there is a huge difference between online game industry and gambling industry in India. Poker, rummy and fantasy cricket are considered games of skills, because you have to learn certain rules and practice, while gambling is something very different.

Gambling is an activity that could bring you money or make you lose it. Everything depends wholly on chance. If you’re looking for legal gambling states in India, Goa is one of them. Casino games are some of the most popular gambling games not only in Goa, India; but all over the world.

As we know, from a total of 29 states in India, only three states allow casinos.  Goa, Daman, and Sikkim are the three states where the gambling laws are clear and say that casinos and gambling are allowed, but there are also specific running rules that must be respected.

Betting and gambling in Goa are permitted only in casinos that must run on five-star hotels or offshore vessels. It’s good to know that before opening such a gambling location in Goa, the owners must ask for the Government permission.

Because it relies on tourism, Goa had a big problem with betting and gambling in the nineties, as everything was illegal and tourists used to go to Nepal for gambling activities. It is due to this, the state was losing a lot of money, and the economy was in danger.

Goa represents a major part in the gambling history of India because it was the first state with the legal gambling industry. Legalised gambling in Goa meant a lot for the state: it allowed betting for people older than 18 and also legal gambling licenses for the casinos.

It is the reason why, in 1992, the state of Goa started releasing gambling licenses to luxury hotels. These permits allowed the hotel owners to run slot machines. Four years later, in 1996 the gambling laws in Goa started to allow table games like poker and roulette to be played on cruise ships, with the mention that such games aren’t allowed to be played in land casinos.

Because of the strict gambling laws, there are just a few legal casinos in India. There are ten casinos in Goa, four of them are floating on the Mandovi River, while the other six are on land.

Because there are ten running casinos in Goa, the state is known all over the country for its legal gambling activity. Compared with other states like Maharashtra and Karnataka, Goa is a small state, having a population around 1.4 million people. When it comes to gambling and betting activities, Goa occupies the first place in the country of India. The legality of gambling in Goa attracts millions of people from India, but also from foreign countries, all over the year. It translates into huge amounts of money spent in the state of Goa, and big earnings for the locals, hotels, and casinos owners, but also for the Government.

In 2012 was adopted the latest legislation regarding gambling in Goa. A new clause was added, and it legalises the off-shore casinos’ transfer of licenses with the specification that a license transfer fee has to be paid. The license transfer fees can be as big as 6.5 crores per license.

Because Goa is the smallest state in India, the tourism industry is essential for the area. Casinos affect the tourism and the economy of the state directly, and that’s one of the main reasons why gambling laws in Goa sustain this industry. There are also things that could be improved, things that could make the casino opening procedures much easier.

Because the market demand is big and there are ten casinos in use, the entry costs for gambling casinos in Goa are high. The average entrance in a casino is about 3,500 rupees. From this total amount, more than half, around 2,000 goes to the government, and the rest goes to the casino.  There are also exceptions for the players who are willing to spend a big amount of money because they will get a free entry.

Because the government earns a lot of money from gambling taxes, they show interest in keeping these casinos in Goa.

When it comes to online gambling in India, the laws don’t say it clear enough to affirm if online poker, online fantasy cricket or online rummy is legal or not, but no law forbids it.

Each state of India has its gambling and online games laws, and it’s hard to say as a common conclusion if online gambling is allowed all over the India. As we said before, there are states where online games that go under the games of skills are considered legal, while games that go under the game of luck are illegal.

If we analyse, for both online rummy and online poker there are also skills and luck involved. There’s luck because you can’t know your opponent’s hand of cards, but there’s also training and knowledge that will help you win the game.

Talking about online gambling in Goa, it is known that it remains illegal. It means that there are still illegal gambling games in Goa, for the people who decide to play online.

There’s also a way people in Goa could do online betting. There are a lot of online betting website that allows foreign users to play. Since the websites are completely legal in the countries where they are based, and they accept bets all over the world, it’s clear that people from India can also use it.

However, the Indian Government tried to stop it by introducing the Payment and Settlement Act in 2007. This measure was meant to stop direct deposits and withdrawals, making online betting much harder, but it failed, and they tried something else.

The next thing they tried to implement was to control the internet browsing by reaching the internet providers. Blocking the access to certain websites could stop online gambling in India and Goa.

Even if the Indian Government and the Indian internet services providers try to stop online gambling, the internet is a free tool that everybody could use all over the world. If Indian people still want to do online gambling and online betting, they can do it by using specific tools that will let them access any website across the globe.

There are free web browsers that allow you to do this, and you can download them with just a few mouse clicks and a few keystrokes. TOR browser is one of these tools that allow anonymous and unrestricted internet browsing for people around the world. You don’t have to pay for it. Just save and install it on your personal computer, and you’re free to go online, and nobody will know what website you access and what you’re doing while you use your PC.

As a conclusion, we can definitely say that gambling laws in Goa allow people and casinos to run such business. Because the states’ economy was firmly influenced by tourism, the government sustains the legality of gambling there.

When it comes to online gambling, things are different, but there are ways that people can use the internet to place an online bet. One of the easiest ways you could do it is by using a gambling or betting website from a foreign country. Before you access it, make sure it is legal, and it doesn’t scam its users. If everything’s fine, you’re good to go and play. There are also tools that will help you delete your online trace, so your internet provider won’t find what kind of websites you visited lately.

Avtar Singh

SEO Expert, Avtar loves cricket and everything about it. He is a fitness freak and enjoys poker with his friends in free time.

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