It is common knowledge that betting is illegal in Gujarat. Indeed, physical betting houses and betting shops are generally prohibited all throughout India, according to the Public Gambling Act of 1867.
So does this mean that Ahmedabadis and Gujaratis in general are totally unable to bet on sports? No - there are a few legal exceptions which make it possible for residents to bet on sports legally, and in this article, we’re gonna tell you how it’s done.
But first of all, a little bit of background about the gambling laws in Gujarat to give you some necessary context.
Gambling in Ahmedabad was first prohibited in 1887 with the introduction of the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act (Gujarat at the time was part of the state of Bombay).
The law was based on the Public Gambling Act of 1867 which had been introduced in the eastern part of British India some 20 years earlier.
According to the law, residents within the state were prohibited from betting or wagering on any event of unpredictable outcome, such as the outcome of sports, the price of cotton, price of stocks or shares, quantity of rainfall, and other naturally occurring events.
The law also prohibited people from owning, managing, operating, or frequenting so-called gambling houses.
The punishment for violating the above mentioned law was set to be not less than 2 months of jail time and not less than 300 rupees in fines - a substantial amount of money at the time, no doubt.
However, certain exceptions and loopholes also appear in the law, which we will now take a closer look at.
In the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act, it is explicitly mentioned that horse racing does not constitute illegal gaming.
Further explanation isn’t given, such as to why betting on horse racing should remain legal when betting on other sports would not be legal.
We can therefore only speculate as to why this provision was added to the law, but a reasonable assumption would be that horse racing, at the time, was a much-cherished pastime activity of the English colonial masters.
So in order to keep the colonialists happy, the local government of Bombay kept horse racing legal, while the common man’s games such as satta matka was prohibited.
No matter the reason behind the law, the fact of the matter is that this provision still exists to this day, making horse race betting a legal activity in Ahmedabad.
Another gambling activity which is legal in Ahmedabad is online betting.
Online betting is the action of placing bets using online betting sites through a computer or a mobile device.
So why is online betting legal in Ahmedabad? Well, when the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act was written in 1887, the internet wasn’t a thing yet, so no one thought about including a provision to ban online betting.
And since then, the law has been amended several times, but no prohibition of online betting has ever been included in the act, which is why online betting, technically, is still legal in Ahmedabad, as well as the rest of Gujarat.
So if you’re one of the many Ahmedabadis who want to place bets on your favorite sports, then check out one of the many online betting sites in India and get inspired today!