Online Gambling In Bihar

Bihar is the third largest state in India in terms of population size, as per the latest UN demographics data. It is one of the most conservative states in India and has had a very convoluted relationship with gambling from the days of yore. Unlike other states, Bihar doesn’t have any formal legislature, or state laws as far as gambling is concerned. It still follows the outdated Public Gambling Act of 1857, which hasn’t been updated by the Central government. Let’s address a few questions which will shed light on the status of the latest gambling games and betting scenario in Bihar. You’ll receive answers to these questions:

Is online gambling legal in Bihar?

This is a confusing question to answer, similar to “is betting legal in India?”. To some extent, online gambling is legal in Bihar. In terms of poker and rummy, players in Bihar are free to gamble online. In other terms, online gambling is illegal in Bihar if you talk about other games. Purely because there aren’t any outright Indian gambling laws which govern anything; it’s all about the ancient law in place, which the state government seems to follow.

All games of skill like poker, rummy, and horse racing are deemed fit for wagering money on from the state of Bihar. It doesn’t matter if you’re a resident of Bihar or not; in case you are visiting Bihar or have an IP which reflects a location in Bihar, you’re good to go and can play online games of luck or chance.

Since online games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat or Indian flush aren’t legalized by the law; you can’t play these games for money online. Recognized games of skill like rummy and poker can be played online.

Is matka satta gambling legal in Bihar?

The satta game or matka satta is again illegal in Bihar. There have been cases where illegal underground makta satta markets have cropped up in Bihar and it seems like the entire state is involved in some form of gambling or the other. However, the government has deemed all live gambling games/venues as illegal.

The Bihar government has been swift in shutting down these illegal bookmakers, which still make copious amounts of money in the state. There aren’t any official or non-official numbers which delineate the extent of gambling in the state. It goes without saying that the state would be better off with legalization of matka gambling and online matka gambling.

It’s a necessary evil or the elephant in the room which needs to be addressed by the ailing government of Bihar. Matka satta has been a huge advantage for a state government like Maharashtra in the past. This means that it’s only time that a state government like Bihar realizes the opportunity in operating a satta game like matka or lottery.

Is online cricket betting legal in Bihar?

Sadly, in India, even though cricket is the most popular sport, online cricket betting and online cricket betting site are illegal. The underground betting market in cricket is the biggest in the world and nobody really knows the exact number in terms of betting volume in US dollars. Some reports suggest that it’s a multi-billion USD industry.

Even though it’s a multi-billion dollar industry, the Indian government isn’t regulating it or legalizing it. The Bihar state government is no different and hasn’t taken any steps to regulate or legalize online cricket betting. It can easily become the standard-bearer and set an example for the entire country.

Even though the government of Bihar hasn’t taken any steps, the people of Bihar are actively involved in online cricket betting and the Indian satta market. Bihar is one of the top seven contributors to the illegal online cricket betting market in India. The number is only growing, and more and more punters from Bihar can be seen betting on cricket.

Every now and then, there are reports of Indian bookmakers getting caught in illegal online cricket betting from Bihar and many high-profile punters getting caught in the fray. Still, the scene remains the same. The government isn’t ready to acknowledge the presence of online as well as offline cricket betting syndicates.

Are there any horse racing tracks in Bihar?

There are no horse racing tracks in Bihar. Also, there are no specific laws or provisions which make horse racing legal or illegal in Bihar. Eight other state legislations, Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Meghalaya have passed specific statutes which allow legal betting on horse racing in licensed race courses.

Even though there are one-off private horse racing events in Bihar or festivals which condone horse racing, there aren’t any government-approved horse racing tracks in Bihar.

Is online betting for horse racing legal in Bihar?

The law is ambiguous in Bihar; even though there are no licensed race courses, it’s unclear whether a Bihar resident can legally wager on horse racing or not. Since the Bihar government follows the 1857 law, it’s unclear right now whether the residents of the state can participate or not in Indian horse racing. Judging by the laws of the land, it seems as if the residents of Bihar are free to participate and gamble on horse racing in India.

There has been no reported case of a person getting caught legally for betting on horses in Bihar; therefore, it must be legal to bet on horse racing from Bihar.

Since India lacks a proper infrastructure of online horse racing betting; it’s not clear whether the residents of India or Bihar can legally participate in horse racing gambling.

Which online betting sites are safe for Indian players?

For Indian residents to bet on the satta market or online betting sites or other betting sports, they need to use an International payments site as well as an International betting site. Currently, there aren’t any particular provisions which dissuade Indian nationals from transferring funds or betting on international sites.

The most trusted international sites which have been known to operate in India are Betway, Bodog, Betrally, Bet365, Betfair and William Hill. Using various payment methods like Skrill, Neteller, Payoneer and Paypal, Indian punters are free to indulge in online betting and online gaming on these aforementioned international sites.

PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill, and Neteller have been the most trusted payment gateways to assist Indian punters to bet on International site. There are stipulations by the Indian government as to the amount that an Indian national can send to a foreign establishment. However, these foreign services are allowed to operate in India.

Sites mentioned earlier like Betway, Bodog, Betrally, Bet365, Betfair and William Hill are the best in the business and the most heavily used by Indian punters. They have a proven track record of providing the fairest rates and the fastest deposit/withdrawal facilities to punters globally.

Are there any land-based casinos in Bihar?

Bihar being a conservative state, doesn’t allow the establishment of land-based or offshore casinos within its state boundaries. There are no specific state laws for casinos in Bihar and it’s likely to remain that way because the general public hasn’t filed a petition or appealed to the courts to introduce casinos in the state.

There are no plans of the Nitish Kumar led Janata Dal government to issue licenses to private or public entities to start land-based casinos in Bihar. With the recent ban on alcohol, the state seems to introduce stricter laws in order to curb gambling rather than promote it like other states.

The only states which do have government-approved casinos are Goa, Sikkim and Daman. In the rest of the country, no state allows land-based casinos or casinos for that matter.

Which IPL teams are based in Bihar?

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is India’s biggest cricket league based on a franchise format with a brand value of USD 6.3 Billion as of 2018. There have been 11 seasons of the IPL so far and we are yet to see a franchise team based out of Bihar. Even though cricket is the most popular sport in India, as compared to other states, Bihar seems to lack infrastructure and international cricket grounds.

Online cricket betting is illegal throughout India, and the same goes for Bihar as well. There is a thriving underground satta market/IPL satta market in Bihar, but it’s not legal. Like other states, online cricket betting continues to remain illegal even though it’s an open secret throughout the world that India is the hub for online IPL cricket betting as well as cricket betting on the phone.

Conclusion

The present Janata Dal government is coming down hard on all forms of gambling and rendering them illegal. There aren’t specific laws in place and the old, archaic Public Gambling Act of 1857 and Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1988 are still being adhered to. The number of arrests being made for illegal gambling dens is only increasing in the state.

The recent blanket ban enforced on 1st April 2016 on the complete ban on the sale of all alcoholic beverages is reportedly costing the exchequer INR 4000 Crore annually. It has also given rise to bootlegging, sale of spurious liquor and criminal activities. The Bihar government can easily make up the losses incurred on alcohol sales by legalizing, taxing and regulating a whole gamut of online as well as offline gambling games.

Similar to the sale of illicit liquor; there have been many cases of Matka satta, IPL satta, online cricket betting and underground lotteries which have surfaced in Bihar. The government is doing its bit to quash any form of gambling and we often see crackdowns on betting rackets and underground casinos in Bihar.

The future seems bleak for all gambling-related activities as there aren’t any advocates fighting for the legalization of games of skill, casino-related games, horse racing and lotteries. Other states like Kerala and Nagaland have a turnover of INR 6000 Crore annually only from lottery sales.

The only respite comes in the form of online gambling, which is still legal in the state. Currently, one can play online games of skill like Poker and Rummy from Bihar. However, playing live Poker or Rummy is still illegal in Bihar. Other forms of online gambling like Online cricket betting is illegal throughout India so that’s not even a question here. The states which have issued a ban on online poker are Gujrat, Assam, Odisha, Nagaland, Sikkim and Telangana.

It all boils down to whether the Bihar government is going to do what is pragmatic or is it going to keep a moral high ground!