Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim-majority state in India, is the subject of a territorial conflict among three neighbouring Countries – India, Pakistan, and China. As every Indian state, Jammu & Kashmir follows unique gambling policies.
In 2015, Nirmal Singh, the Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir, voiced for gaming in the state. He was of the opinion of emulating Goa’s casino model with a long-term aim to boost Jammu & Kashmir tourism. As per the Deputy CM, more than 1.4 million tourists visit Kashmir annually.
Jammu & Kashmir Public Gambling Act, 1977, extends to the entire state, prohibiting all forms of gaming in ‘common gaming houses’. This act enlists punishment for the violation of the act. A “Common Gaming-House” is described a house, room, tent, space, vehicle, walled enclosure or vessel which is used for the profit or gain of the owner. “Instrument of gaming” is defined as an article which is used as a means of or for the purpose of carrying on or facilitating gaming.
Under this act, a police officer is open to apprehend without any warrant if a person is found playing for money (or other valuable things) with cards, dice, counters or other gaming instruments. A person associated with the same shall be brought to a Judicial Magistrate. The penalty do not exceed five hundred rupees or six-month- imprisonment. Moreover, the Jammu & Kashmir Public Gambling Act, 1977 imposes ban on online betting or gambling of any kind.
‘Regulating Sports Betting in India: A Vice To Be Tamed’ is a report paper published by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. It found over seventy percent Indians believed that legalising sports betting would help curb match-fixing.
The state government’s stance on sports betting is liberal, as the cabinet thinks that a fair and more trusted betting experience for consumers with entertainment in a controlled and responsible way.