Gambling in India is one of the oldest types of games in the world, dating back at least 5,000 years. The Indian subcontinent has a long history dating back to the Vedic period. Gambling was already prevalent in India. Indian epic books Ramayana and Mahabharat depict gambling.
In Ramayana, the usage of dice and boards were described. The games were played in order to entertain themselves. The real effects of gambling were evident in Mahabharat. Gambling led to the destruction of two kingdoms and fights among their own brothers.
These ancient games were often played by royalty and nobility. The games also included card games, dice games, board games, keno, and Ludo. But, it wasn’t until more than 1,500 years later that we saw the first formal casinos open their doors in India.
Under Indian law casino games were not illegal when a court ruled the verdict in 1961. The game was no longer illegal as they play with fair play rules and no money is on the line against them. This ruling paved the way for other casinos to open their doors shortly after.
Early Gambling Devices in India
The Buddhist text refers to the use of nuts from the Vibhitaka tree as dice as early as 300 BC. Playing Passa, a game that involved using astragali as dice replaced them.
Indians used animals as a real money game earlier than cockfighting and ram fights. As ram fights began to lose their popularity. Indians started to follow the trend of horse racing, a popular sport.
Historical records prove that Indians were not concerned about losing money. They were less concerned about their future which was at stake.
Hindu scripts and hymns wrote about the effects of Gambling. The truth is Indians tended to gamble with little regard for the future.
Europeans are always given the credit for the invention and development of certain games. The Indian versions were in playing cards and gambling devices discovered in Europe.
Indians played a significant role in the gambling boom through their invention and helped spread games. It was during the 15th century when this boom was at its peak. The local ordinances were an action to enforce the games to be fair and orderly. There was no intention to protect the players, only to motivate players to pay taxes to the king. This was the beginning of the gambling tax.
European Influence and Law
In the early days of Indian sports history, cricket was a popular betting sport. In the late eighteenth century, cricket became popular as a betting game. British brought many horse racing events to India to popularize the sport in the nation.
For the first time in India, a new sport evolved in the form of Cricket. The game has become so popular in India over the last 2 centuries.
The 1st cricket match took place between Madras and Calcutta took place in 1864. The game marked a new era in Indian Cricket as First Class cricket was in play. Because it has become out of control, the Public Gambling Act of 1867 came into the act.
The act made operating a gambling hall illegal. Many changes were made to the laws against it in India. Despite those laws being ineffective and the government failed to ban them totally.
Although, Gambling was illegal in the nation people didn’t care about the laws. Popularity was immense gambling as people could make easy money. People started to play gambling at their homes, on secret streets, and at village gatherings.
Gambling has become an addiction for people in India. Police ran out of ideas to control these actions in the country. The Police force couldn’t control or stop the evolution of gambling in India. After 89 years of English control, India finally gained its independence in 1947. The government of India considered gambling to be harmful which could ruin families
Online Betting and Casino
India is home to approximately $60 billion in illegal sports betting. The most prominent forms of betting and in India are Lottery, Horse Racing and Rummy. Online casinos and betting sites have been legal due to the sites operating from other countries. The users are taking advantage of the fact that they can gamble from anywhere. The only thing they need is a verified account.
Future of Gambling in India
A Country with over 1.15 billion population India is a massive market for online casinos and betting companies. It’s been over millennia and gambling since evolved. Many laws came into the act but none were effective to stop the evolution of betting in India.
It is evident from history that Indians love to take risks and enjoy playing games. Gambling might never disappear from India any sooner.