Maharashtra Gambling Laws
Many states in India have strict gambling regulations, and Maharashtra is one of them. Although gambling is strictly prohibited, Mumbai’s gambling culture is thriving. In this article, we will discuss different ways to gamble in Maharashtra without the risk of being arrested.
How to gamble from Maharashtra?
Maharashtra Gambling Laws follow the national public gambling act, restricting all forms of gambling held in gambling houses. Should you wish to play casino games and bet on sports, you can do so through online casinos and sports betting sites. Online casinos are situated outside India’s territory, so India’s gambling law does not apply to them. Most of these online casinos and sports betting sites are located in Curacao or Malta. No Indians were prosecuted for playing at online casinos and participating in sports betting events, for the record.
The legality of gambling in Maharashtra
In Maharashtra, only a limited number of games are considered legal. Games tagged as games of chance are not allowed in Maharashtra, such as video slots, bingo, game shows, and table games, to name a few. However, the national public gambling law has some loopholes. Being an old law, it does not mention anything about online gambling. Therefore, players from Maharashtra can participate in offshore online casinos.
Gambling laws in Maharashtra
The Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act of 1887 regulates Maharashtra Gambling Laws. It is also known as the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act of 1887. The national public gambling act of 1867 also takes effect in Maharashtra. All these laws say one thing – gambling is illegal in Maharashtra, particularly in physical gaming houses. It does not matter if it is in a house, a hotel room, or a car – for as long as there’s money involved, it is strictly illegal, and you can be arrested if you get caught. The only games legal in Maharashtra are rummy, horse racing, and lottery.
The Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act of 1887
Maharashtra Gambling Laws make it illegal to organize and run a gaming house. If you get caught, you could be held liable, but the penalties are light in Maharashtra. The sanctions are as follows:
- First offense – A fine of Rs. 200 and one month of imprisonment.
- Second offense – A fine of Rs. 200 and three months of imprisonment.
- Third offense – An imprisonment of six months.
If you are going to compare the sanctions of violating the law to other states, you will notice that Maharashtra’s are less stringent, which explains why there are plenty of gaming houses in Mumbai.
Changes in Maharashtra Gambling Laws
Online betting is a crucial and confusing topic. Online casinos and sports betting sites are situated outside India, wherein the Indian government has no control. Hence, these online sites can easily offer gambling services to desi players. For the Maharashtra government, the advent of online casinos has become one of the primary problems. To solve the problem, it has instituted new regulations that would prohibit online gambling, but up until now, there’s no final decision yet. There was a point when casinos are almost made legal in the state of Maharashtra, but it was not implemented. Until then, the national public gambling act prevails.
Casinos in Pune and Mumbai
The same gambling laws apply in Pune and Mumbai, but residents have other options. Should they wish to play in a land-based casino, all they need to do is travel to nearby places where gambling is allowed, such as in Goa.
Casinos in Nagpur
Gambling restriction is also implemented in Nagpur. For a land-based casino experience, Nagpur residents have to travel to Goa, which is a bit far. For those who don’t like the idea of traveling far, the next best option is an online casino.
Lottery in Maharashtra
The Lotteries Regulation Act of 1998 includes Maharashtra in the list of thirteen states that allow lotteries. However, there are specific rules to follow. The printing and selling of lottery tickets must only be done by the agents authorized by the government of Maharashtra. If you violate this rule, you could be subject to imprisonment of up to two years. If you wish to sell lottery tickets, you have to seek registration with Maharashtra Tax Authority. Private lotteries authorized by the Maharashtra government are subject to 28% tax.
Sports betting in Maharashtra
Sports betting is a big NO in Maharashtra, but many participate in cricket betting through underground sports betting sites during the cricket season. If you get caught, you will be subjected to a fine and imprisonment. To stay on the safe side, bet only on online sports betting platforms and see to it that the online sports betting site is located outside India’s jurisdiction.
Horse racing in Maharashtra
The Bombay Race Courses Licensing Act of 1912 legalizes horse racing events because horse racing is a game of skill. Maharashtra horse racing event is organized in Mumbai Mahalaxmi Racecourse. There are also horse racing events happening in Pure Racecourse. To place your bet, you have to visit tote points available at the racecourses. You can also visit tote service outlets. Horse racing is a big event, and so is the price and tax. Your winnings are subject to 30.90% tax. You can also read our horse racing tips to maximize your chance of winnings.
Flush, poker, rummy, and other card games status
Game of skills are legal in Maharashtra, and according to the Indian Supreme Court, card games like rummy and poker belong to the game of skill category. However, you have to know how to obey the laws and all their loopholes because although these card games are legal, you cannot play them in exchange for money. Playing these card games for real money in a club is a big NO! It is best to play these games discretely. You can also play these card games at the leading offshore online casinos.
To sum it up, local gambling/physical gambling is prohibited in Maharashtra. Should you want to experience how it feels like playing in a land-based casino, you need to travel to states where gambling is allowed. If you don’t like the idea of traveling far, your next best option is offshore online casinos. They make you feel like you are in the actual casino setting.