Do you know that gambling in ancient India was not just a fun pastime activity, but also a means for conflict resolution? Instead of risking and losing human life going to war, kings would gamble over a game of dice to decide the winner. Peculiar, right?
Gambling has been a part of Indian culture for decades. But no one thought that India would become a massive market for gamblers the way it is today.
Let’s look at the evolution of gambling in India to its present state.
Early gambling devices in India
During 300 BC, Indians used nuts as dice to gamble. They placed a bet and gambled on animals. Initially, they started with ram fights, then moved on to cockfights, and eventually, progressed to horse racing betting. Historical accounts show that Indians used to gamble with whatever they had as if tomorrow will never come. This led to the creation of hymns and scripts warning against and prohibiting gambling.
For long, Europeans were given credit for coming up with certain gambling games. However, earlier gambling devices discovered in Europe contained Indian symbols. This implies that Indians played a much more significant role in creating and helping gambling blossom.
During the 15th century, gambling had picked up in India, and many legal gambling houses sprung up across the country. The local ordinances regulated the gamblers to ensure that the games were played in a fair and orderly manner. After winning, players were to submit their dues to the king (now called gambling tax).
Gambling during the times of Mahabharata and Ramayana
Historical accounts show that the rolling of dice and staking with precious belongings was an activity that the kings often engrossed themselves with during the times of Mahabharata and Ramayana, around 2000 – 1500 BC. In fact, in the Mahabharata, the prince of Gandhara, Shakuni, used dice made of the ashes of his father, which followed his will.
It is during this time that gambling turned into a harmful addiction and became destructive. A great man by the name Yudhishthira lost his kingdom, wealth and wife to gambling.
The European influence and British rule
With cricket becoming popular in India, the European influence took over. The game caught people’s attention and turned into a gambling sport, with millions of people placing bets on cricket matches.
Then, in the 18th century, the British took over and outlawed all gambling houses, except a few of them. They deemed lotteries, horse racing and rummy illegal. But this did not affect the gambling passion. People started gambling on residential streets and small towns with a large sum of money at stake. Over the years, some games were legalised, such as rummy. However, most still stay illegal.
Gambling in the present day
Since the European influence, Indian laws don’t seem to have changed much. Gambling is considered a taboo, although the country allows some forms of gambling, such as betting on horse racing. The laws say that it is illegal to run a gambling house, and if found violating the law, the accused will be subjected to harsh punishment and penalties.
However, land-based casinos are legal in three states of the country – Goa, Sikkim and Daman. However, such strict laws haven’t stopped Indians from enjoying casino games every now and then. How? Through online gambling!
With the Internet and smart devices being easily accessible, we can do anything from the comfort of our homes, including ordering food, shopping and even playing. Similarly, a lot of players have turned to online casinos to satisfy their gambling desires. Indians are often found having fun and winning big rewards from gambling online, as there are no laws regarding online casinos in India.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online casinos where you can enjoy any game of your choice. You can also download casinos, register for it online and start playing instantly.
Clearly, India has been open to gambling since historic times. With hopes for a bright future in the gambling industry, online casinos are indispensable in India.