Besides Goa, Sikkim is an exciting place for gambling in India. The government of Sikkim began focusing on tourism development recently, as part of which it invested heavily in the development of the gambling industry, including land-based as well as online betting. As a result of these activities, Casino Sikkim was launched in March 2009 and the government of Sikkim got ready to issue 7 more licenses for gambling. One of the greatest contributions of the online betting industry in Sikkim is Playwin, an online lottery that has delighted betting enthusiasts all over India. The Sikkim government plans to issue three more licenses for online sports betting at the earliest possible.
Indian Gambling Legalities
Lawmakers in India have never been friendly toward gambling in any form although the people of India are fond of betting. The gambling laws of India are unclear and have so far not been successful in stopping people from enjoying their favorite games of chance, as a result of which half the betting industry in India is illegal.
Goa and Sikkim are the only states in which legalized gambling is offered although people in metropolitan cities such as Delhi and Mumbai enjoy playing their favorite games of chance for real money in private places. Sikkim is the home of Playwin, an online lottery game, which has been immensely popular all over India. Moreover, the horse racing industry in India is not only legal, but also heavily regulated.
Gambling in Sikkim and Goa
Since Goa is a tourist hotspot, gambling was speedily legalized and regulated for the benefit of the tourist industry. As a result, Goa has 7 land-based casinos and 5 cruise ship casinos. Sikkim, in spite of its popularity as a gambling paradise, does not have that many gambling establishments. Sikkim has only one land-based casino, which is heavily dependant on the government of Sikkim for its survival.
As previously mentioned, Sikkim owes it reputation as the Indian hotspot for gambling activities to its government’s tourism development schemes. In a bid to raise its tourism profits, the government of Sikkim authorized Teesta Ranjit Private Limited, a private company, to establish and operate a brick-and-mortar casino. The government’s bold move pleased Sikkim’s entrepreneurs and gambling enthusiasts immensely. Immediately after establishing its first casino, the government of Sikkim decided to issue gambling licenses to several other gambling companies eager to establish online betting services in Sikkim.
Before the establishment of Sikkim as a gambling hotspot, Indian gamblers used to visit Nepal, which has a number of exciting casinos. Players from Sikkim visited Nepal in large numbers for some gambling fun. The Sikkim government’s bold move to legalize and introduce online as well as land-based gambling in Sikkim has put the state well in the way to becoming another Goa as far as gambling and tourism are concerned.
More about Sikkim Casino
The Sikkim Casino is located in a luxury hotel called Royal Plaza, which offers not only gambling, but much more. Indian gambling enthusiasts who do not have the time or the means to travel all the way to Las Vegas can enjoy the authentic Las Vegas experience in Sikkim Casino, which offers a fabulous ambience, trained croupiers, and a wide range of exciting casino games such as table games, card games, slot machine games, and roulette to Indian gamblers and tourists. Indian gamblers who used to visit Goa or Nepal for some gambling fun are now spending their money in Sikkim, generating plenty of gambling revenue for the government of Sikkim.
Online Gambling in Sikkim
The success of Sikkim Casino encouraged the government of Sikkim to issue licenses for online gambling in Sikkim. Right now, it is not yet known whether these online gambling services will be limited to Sikkim or whether they will be open to gamblers from all over India.
Although Indian gambling laws are not clear and the government of India is definitely against gambling activities, no Indian law criminalizes online betting. This means that citizens of India can register at offshore online gambling sites and use banking methods such as credit cards, debit cards, Neteller and Skrill to fund their online gaming accounts. Some of the best offshore gambling sites for Indian players are betway.com and royalpanda.com. Once Sikkim establishes online gambling sites, Indian players can gamble to their heart’s content in their own country. The introduction of online gambling in Sikkim might also pressurize the central government to re-define its gambling policies and implement gambling friendly laws.
Online casino players in India hope that Sikkim will not limit its online casino services to the residents of Sikkim. In fact, Sikkim might not be able to profit much if it imposes such limitations because it is sparsely populated. The only way for Sikkim to profit from its online gambling industry is to throw open its online gambling services to gambling enthusiasts from all over India as well as abroad.
Online Gambling for Indian Players
In the meantime, Indian casino players can sign up for online poker, online casino, and online betting services at reputed offshore gambling sites such as www.888.com and www.ladbrokes.com, to mention a few. In fact, most of these companies are waiting for a chance to expand their services in Sikkim, which means that there are plenty of betting opportunities in store for Indian online bettors.
Today, it is perfectly legal for Indian players to bet on the Playwin lottery based in Sikkim and to play in casinos based in Goa and Sikkim. They can also place bets on Indian horse racing events legally.
Indian players craving the pleasures of online casino gaming and online betting simply have to register reputed casinos online and make an initial deposit.