Is Horse Race Betting Legal in India?

It is a well-known fact that in India, betting on sports, like cricket, is illegal. We regularly come across news of the law agencies busting illegal betting rings. But with so many racecourses and turf clubs around, and horse races happening throughout the year, is horse race betting legal in India?

You may be pleasantly surprised at the answer.

Is horse race betting legal in India?

Yes, horse race betting is completely legal in India.

Betting and gambling activities are considered to be illegal in India by the Public Gambling Act of 1867. However, in a 1996 judgment, the Supreme Court of India ruled that winning a horse race bet is not merely based on chance, but one has to have significant knowledge about the breed of a horse, their training, the abilities of the jockey, as well as about the race track. Therefore, it cannot be considered to be just a `game of chance´, but a `game of skill´. Therefore, it is exempt from the current betting laws of the country and legal.

What type of bets can you place on horse races in India?

Indian race tracks give the option of placing fixed odds bets, where you can know your winnings beforehand, or via totalizator or tote betting, which is a type of pool betting with variable odds.

Where can one bet on horse races?

Horse races are held in 9 race courses scattered across India, including Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Ooty, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Mysore. One can place bets on the race tracks or at one of the satellite centers operated by the clubs.

Is horse race betting legal in India? With the rise in popularity of online betting, one can bet on the Indian races using websites like bet365 and betway. These international betting sites also give Indian punters the opportunity to place wagers on international horse races being held in the UK and Ireland, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, and America.