Gambling is an essential part of Indian culture, older than India itself. Have you ever heard a tale of how Lord Shiva played a game of dice with Parvati during Diwali? The divine couple was advised by a trickster yogi named Narada how there is something even more fun than making love – a game of dice.


While consistently winning in a game of dice against Shiva, and being in a good mood for defeating such a powerful god, Parvati had so much fun that she made a bold promise.

Those playing dice and other gambling games on Diwali night will prosper, and those who don’t gamble will be turned into donkeys. Even though there is no scientific evidence that donkeys in India are cursed, it is a popular tale that explains the obsession with gambling.


In Mahabharata, gambling is mentioned on several occasions, including one where a kingdom is lost because of a gambling game. Even if you have never read Mahabharata, make sure to keep this fact in mind as a cautionary tale – never gamble more than you can afford.

Indians love to gamble, there is no doubt about that, but the gambling industry still hasn’t penetrated every aspect of the economy and everyday lives in India. Limited to only certain states, traditional gambling in specialized venues is not accessible to most people, so they turn to online gambling sites such as

Tourists, on the other hand, can enjoy all the thrill and excitement Indian casinos have to offer, especially if they plan their trip accordingly. Before planning the trip, check out these important guidelines that will help you navigate the often complex Indian gambling industry.


casino, goa

Let’s set the first things first – gambling is regulated on a local basis, which means that every state has its own regulation regarding casino venues. Online casinos are available all across the land and are provided by offshore companies. Lottery and horse racing are open in all states, without any restrictions.

Traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, however, are available only in three states: Goa, Daman, and Sikkim. Most tourists who prefer casino gambling traveling opt for Goa, as it is famous not only for gambling but for great parties and white sand beaches that go as far as the eye can see.


Goa Casino

Casino establishments in India offer all the same games as any other brick-and-mortar gambling venue. In Sikkim, there are only two casinos you can visit – Casino Sikkim and Casino Mahjong. Why not check our detailed guide on the best legal casinos in India

In Goa, there are 10 establishments – six casinos that operate as parts of five-star hotels and four floating casinos that are cruising down the Mandovi River: Casino Deltin Royale, Casino Deltin Jaqk, Casino Pride, and Casino Pride 2. The four floating casinos are somewhat of the attraction, as they provide a truly unique gambling experience. There is only one casino venue in Daman – Deltin Daman Casino.

But should an average traveler who is looking for some gambling pastime be worried about the limited number of available casinos? Well, you can always play in online casinos, but if you prefer a more traditional approach, make sure to visit Goa and try out these legal casinos in Goa. Not only does this state have the highest number of casinos, but also has plenty of other things to offer.

Despite their limited number, Indian casinos attract a large number of tourists each year, both local and international. They offer a proper gambling experience that can be compared to the one in, let’s say, Las Vegas. You might encounter some less popular games as well, but that is mostly due to their popularity among locals.


Many refer to India as the Land of Festivals. When it comes to big celebrations, no one does it as Indians do. From delicious food, vibrant colors, to all that singing, and dancing – they really know how to throw a party. After all, Holi and Diwali are known all over the world.

What is less known is that during the festivities gambling activity rises by 30-40%. So many tourists can’t help but wonder, is it legal to play some roulette or a hand of cards during the festivities?

As long as you are in a regulated casino located in Goa, Sikkim, or Daman, you are good to go. If you are located in any of the other states or provinces, stick to your mobile casino.

Of course, you will witness many gambling activities both on the streets, in bars, and parks, but bear in mind it is all illegal. Also, in India, both the person organizing illegal gambling activity and the player must pay a fine or do a prison sentence.

And while Shiva and Parvati both had a good time gambling during Diwali, it is better to steer clear from such activities (unless in a proper gambling venue).

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