Gambling, in general, is illegal in India. Under the Public Gambling Act of 1867, it is a crime to run, manage, or visit a public gambling house, let alone play in one. However, under the Indian Constitution, the Central Government authorises the States to have their say and formulate their own law regarding such activities.
For this reason, you would find certain Indian States issuing a blanket ban on all sorts of real money games and others selectively legalising some primarily skill-based games. In fact, two Indian States – Goa and Sikkim and the Union Territory of Daman have even gone on to allow the operation of brick-and-mortar casinos within their jurisdiction.
Leveraging this freedom of volition, the Indian State of Assam recognises gambling or betting as a criminal offence. Nevertheless, it is possible to play online Andar Bahar for real money legally in Assam.
As reported by casino reviewer and comparer site GamblingBaba, there is no dearth of Andar Bahar casinos on the web. The best ones boil down to sites like 10Cric and Leo Vegas. However, before proceeding with the registration, it is good to be aware of the gambling law and other aspects that might crop up as a hindrance.
The Assam Amusements and Betting Tax Act were implemented to issue gambling licenses to specific tribes in 1939. But the Assam Betting and Game Act of 1970, which was enforced soon after, outlawed all games of skill where the player stakes money, valuable security, or material things.
The State further adopted the Public Gambling Act of 1867, thus extending the law to the whole of Assam and eventually revoking all the issued licenses. Betting on games and sports is now illegal in the State. Interestingly, horse betting and lottery are still legal under certain circumstances.
This is why you cannot play real money games in Assam legally. Andar Bahar, the Indian card game is no exception. Wagering money, goods or valuables in the game constitutes a criminal offence conducive to a serious breach of law.
However, Assam’s and the country’s gambling law at large has loopholes that can be used to place a bet in the game without attracting penal action. There are two vital points to keep in mind here.
- Neither the Public Gambling Act of 1867 nor the Assam Betting and Game Act of 1970 say anything about online gambling or betting.
- At the time of writing this article, Assam has not placed a ban on online gambling as such.
Also read: A guide To Playing Satta Matka Online
The Public Gambling Act of 1867 was implemented when Indian was still under colonial rule. The internet was yet to materialise. Assam was declared a constituent State only in 1950, after which it adopted the Act in 1970. The internet was officially birthed in 1983. India received its first publicly available internet service in 1995.
It is not difficult to understand why online gambling has been outside the purview of this particular Act for so long. It specifically does not mention the activity as illegal. There is no use of discrete phrases such as web-based, internet-based, or computerised gambling. By the same token, the Assam Betting and Game Act of 1970 fail to deem online gambling illegal.
Amendments to the Constitution of India are no cakewalk. Therefore, these Acts has been left unchanged for the most part. This major loophole makes it legal for Indians to play at online casinos.
The problem is such casinos are thin on the ground in India, forget Assam. They are yet to become mainstream even in the States that allow online gambling. For instance, Sikkim was one of the first States to run an online lottery portal, but had to back down soon because of tax and loan issues.
As an alternative, Assamese gamblers can resort to international online casinos that allow betting in Rupees. There are loads of them available on the web and packed with the best Indian gambling games, including Andar Bahar. Registration on them is easy and free. Depositing and withdrawing money is a breeze with the range of available banking methods common in India.
These online casinos are based in countries that have legalised gambling. They are not subject to Indian law and cannot be held guilty of running operations illegally. Indian players wagering real money on them are technically playing in a gambling house located abroad. In theory, unless they play at a cybercafe or similar public business setup, they are not at fault.
Of course, some Indian States have been quick enough to recognise this loophole and fix it. Maharashtra did it with the Bombay Wager Act. Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu followed suit. Recently, Kerala has also jumped onto the bandwagon by declaring online Rummy a cyber offence.
But Assam is yet to follow in the footsteps of these States. It is yet to outlaw all forms of online gambling or take a solid stance against specific games such as Rummy. Therefore, gambling in Assam is a gray area, which makes it convenient for Andar Bahar players to enjoy the game for real money.