Influenced by both Eastern and Western cultures, India has a huge history in many different card games (Gin, Bridge), and even created some of their own. In 2006, Teenpatti, a poker variant, started becoming popular in India, and many experts agree that India is the largest and fastest growing online gambling market in the world. Nowadays, close to a million Indians play real-money poker on a regular basis, even though uncertainty surrounding the legal landscape of the game remains. This gambling craze is particularly true during the times of festivals such as Deepawali and Holi, where the gambling business upgrades to 30-40% in India.
The recent creation of a Global Poker League in India with teams representing cities located all over the country is also a favorable indicator of Poker’s development in India, whilst local clubs attract more and more players.
Online Poker: Legal in certains States
Live Poker: Legal Poker Clubs
Casinos with Poker:
– Casinos & Poker Rooms in India –
– Playing Live Poker in India –
Live Poker Legislation in India
India’s gambling laws are quite restrictive and apply everywhere in the country.
The most important law regarding real-money gaming in India is the federal Public Gambling Act of 1867, which makes it illegal for anyone to run a public gaming house or even to be present in an establishment of this sort.
However, if according to the Supreme Court of India, games of chance are illegal, skill-based games are legal, leaving room for the development of the Poker industry. In other decisions, the High Courts of Karnataka and Calcutta have noted that police/law enforcement authorities cannot interfere in the game of poker. Another important document is the Information Technology Act of 2000, which makes a distinction between casino games and card games.
Moreover, as India is a federal state, local legislators may create favorable law environments for gambling & poker, which is, for instance, the case of two states in particular: Goa and Sikkam.
Throughout the whole country of India, some laws do, however, apply in a uniform fashion. As such, the minimum legal gambling age is 18 everywhere in India. Also, regarding taxes, players have to pay 30 percent income tax on all winnings above 10,000 rupees (around $150).
Live Poker Venues in India
While there are no legal casinos in most of India, Goa is home to a total of seven land-based casinos, as well as several offshore ones. You can play poker in at least four of them: Casino Pride, Casino Royale, Casino Carnivale, and Casino Goa.
Sikkim state welcomes two land-based casinos where you can play poker: Casino Sikkam & Casino Mahjong.
A third state, the state of Daman, is expected to start operations in the next few years.
Foreigners and Indians are allowed to enter casinos and legal poker clubs.
– Playing Online Poker in India –
Online Poker Legislation in India
Technically, online poker is only legal in the states of Goa and Sikkim, with the latest standing as the only Indian state with clear-cut online poker regulations and licensed online poker rooms (such as adda52.com).
In most cases, the country’s legislative and judicial branches haven’t ascertained legal status of online poker sites in most Indian states. As a result, online gambling in the rest of India is kind of a grey area: it is still quite unclear if playing poker online is fully legal or not. For example, Indian online poker leader, adda52.com, does not allow players from certain regions, such as Assam, Odisha, Nagaland and Telangana. Additionally, the Information Technology Act of 2000 prohibits internet service providers from hosting gambling websites.
However, consumers and brands are now thriving in the country, both being quite confident that the law will be on their side, based on the aforementioned decision of the Supreme Court of India. Access to all major poker sites is common throughout the country.
Indians tend to rely on credit card payments to fund their poker accounts. In Sikkim, other popular options include Netbanking and Pay By Cash, wire transfer and check by mail. Generally speaking, Sikkim-licensed sites don’t accept e-wallet payments such as Neteller or Skrill.
India’s average Internet Speed is 3.5 Mbps with a lot of disparity on the territory, but it’s usually sufficient to play online poker. A VPN is recommended.
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