Sikkim is one of the three states in India that has wholly legalised betting on land and online. In this article, we talk about the betting laws and the top games you can find at online Sikkim casinos.
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Legal Status of Casinos in Sikkim
Casinos in Sikkim are regulated under two laws, namely the 2002 Sikkim Casino Games (Control and Tax Rules) and the 2005 Sikkim Regulation of Gambling (Amendment) Acts.
These regulations give the state government the authority to legalise betting on certain days and grant licences to businesses and individuals looking to set up land casinos.
Casino Sikkim was the first to open in the state in 2009, but not many casino applications have been approved by the government since then. The ones that have been authorised by the state government see a lot of traction from around the country, however.
In 2016, the state amended the 2002 Sikkim Casino Games (Control and Tax Rules) Act law to ban its residents from playing physical casino games in local casinos (this excludes game parlours hosting online casino games via intranet services). This decision was made in an effort to safeguard locals from getting into betting. But since it still contributes a significant chunk to the state’s revenue, tourists are welcome to play in the best licensed Sikkim casinos India has to offer.
Make sure you don’t play in any unlicensed casinos while in Sikkim, as there’s a strict punishment against it that could cost you a massive fine and prison time.
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Sikkim?
Online betting throughout India is technically not illegal, as there aren’t any laws against playing in online casinos. That said, Sikkim is the only state in India that has passed specific regulations to legalise the licensing of local online Sikkim casinos.
Online Gambling Laws in Sikkim
Sikkim state government has passed only one law to allow online gambling and sports betting. This law, called the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act (2008), was initially only meant to regulate online games such as poker, blackjack, and baccarat.
However, in 2009, the law was amended to legalise online sports betting as well. The amendment states that individuals holding licences granted by the state government can host online casinos and bookmakers through local Sikkim servers.
Only locals and tourists residing in the state can sign up and play at online Sikkim casinos. The casino servers are set up through an intranet connection, available in game parlours, allowing only a few operators to access the server.
Top Games Available at Online Sikkim Casinos
Although online Sikkim casinos are restricted to local gaming parlours within the state, there aren’t any restrictions on the games they have to offer. Below mentioned are some of the top recommended games to check out the next time you visit online Sikkim casinos:
- Andar Bahar
- Teen Patti
Rummy is a well-known game of chance and skill which gained a lot of popularity among Indian casino players. In order to win, you need to make matching and sequential sets out of the 13 cards you’re dealt.
For players to pick a new card, they need to discard one from their hand.
A few more stipulations make the game more challenging, but overall, it’s one of the easiest online Sikkim casinos games to play.
Roulette is a fun table game found in most online Sikkim casinos. Players can make different high- and low-odds bets based on the probability of their occurrence, but ultimately it all depends on luck and chance. The roulette wheel has 38 numbered and randomly coloured red and black pockets.
Players place bets on the odds of the ball landing in a specific pocket. These bets, for example, could involve between 1-12 or the pocket being black or red. The payout is determined by the likeliness of each outcome occurring. In roulette, you could lose it all or win big in seconds.
Blackjack is a simple card-based game that requires specific skills to win consistently. Players compete against the dealer to be the first to reach a score of 21.
You can draw as many cards as you want, but the total score in your hand should be less than 21. If you end up exceeding 21, you automatically lose the game. The same rules apply to the dealer as well.
The game has a very low house edge, which the odds of the player winning are high.
Andar Bahar can be found at most online Sikkim casinos, some even hosting a live version. This game is similar to blackjack, wherein you play one-on-one against the dealer; unlike blackjack, however, it is entirely based on chance.
The dealer picks a card randomly from the deck and puts it face-up on the table. Then they start dealing them into two piles alternatively, namely Andar (Inside) and Bahar (Outside). The player’s goal is to bet on which pile gets a card of equal value to the face card.
Teen Patti originated in India but is now well-known throughout South Asia. The name translates to “three cards” in English, as each player, including the dealer, is dealt three cards they use for the entirety of the round.
Poker heavily influences this game, wherein a player’s goal is to have a sequence of cards with a higher hierarchy than the rest of the players. But instead of making a sequence of five like in poker, players need to make a sequence of three.
There are different kinds of online lottery games in online Sikkim casinos where you either participate in a prize draw or buy a scratch card to get rewards – even a jackpot if you’re lucky. These are usually held weekly and, on some websites, even daily.
Sikkim used to have a website called Playwin that was built explicitly to host an online lottery in the state and throughout the country. However, the company that ran these lotteries closed its offices in 2019.
Sikkim still has online lotteries, but they’re mostly restricted to the people living in the state.
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How to Play at Online Sikkim Casinos
If you’re residing in Sikkim or are just visiting, you can access local game parlours hosting online casinos. Players can choose to play from the online Sikkim casinos games mentioned above or even try their luck at sports betting.
If you’re looking for an easier way to bet online, you can check out foreign online casinos like bet365. These sites provide multiple options for all casino games, including versions with live dealers. The promotions and bonuses available also help to enhance your overall playing experience, boosting your bankroll and increasing your chances of success.
Do Online Sikkim Casinos Permit Sports Betting?
While you can’t bet on sporting events at land-based casinos, online bookmaker websites accessible from Sikkim servers allow you to bet on sports, such as cricket.
The regulation passed by the state on online gambling was amended in 2009 to include sports betting. Since then, local game parlours with online Sikkim casinos have allowed betting on big events, from IPL matches to English Premier League football tournament matches held in the UK.
Land-Based Sikkim Casinos
Most casinos you’ll find in Sikkim are within Gangtok, the state’s capital city. The government hasn’t sanctioned many licences to operators, as the vetting process to get approved takes a lot of time and money. So, below is a list of the top casinos in Sikkim that are currently up and running:
After the law was passed to legalise betting in Sikkim, this was the first land-based casino to open in India in 2009. Casino Sikkim is situated on the premises of Hotel Royal Plaza, one of the best resorts in the country.
This casino has 15 gaming machines consisting of slots, blackjack, rummy, and other games. Those looking to play games like poker and Teen Patti on live tables can participate in one of the five gaming tables, which are usually filled throughout the day.
This casino can be found in the Mayfair resort, located on the outskirts of Gangtok. Almost thrice the size of Casino Sikkim, the establishment’s amenities and unique packages make it a must-visit for interested patrons.
You find multiple slots and gaming machines available to play, and with 15 gaming tables on the premises, there is plenty of variety to enjoy. This casino also has specially dedicated poker rooms and other VVIP gaming rooms for patrons looking to book a table for the night.
Casino Deltin Denzong
Hotel Deltin Denzong is situated at a higher point in Gangtok, amongst the high-rise snow-capped mountains. The casino offers reasonable entry packages that include gaming offers and an all-you-can-eat buffet, so you can sit back and enjoy delicious refreshments while playing your favourite games, including roulette, Texas Hold’em, blackjack, Teen Patti, baccarat, and others.
Online Casinos in Sikkim Final Say
Sikkim is among the more liberal states in India when it comes to laws on betting. Having said that, there is still scope to ease specific regulations and restrictions to allow more freedom for players.
Online Sikkim casinos, as of today, are restricted only to the state’s residents and visitors. Despite this, though, the lack of any concrete rules on online betting throughout the rest of the country makes it available for everyone to access and use online offshore casino sites.
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Online Sikkim Casinos FAQs
- Is online gambling legal in Sikkim?
According to the 2008 Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, residents and visitors of Sikkim can play in online casinos by visiting local parlours.
- What are the top games in online Sikkim casinos?
There are a lot of games you can find at online Sikkim casinos, but the most popular are rummy, roulette, blackjack, Andar Bahar, and Teen Patti.
- What are some of the top online casinos to check out?
King Billy, 7BitCasino, and Cashmio are some of the best sites you can visit to play casino games online.
- Can you bet on sports at online Sikkim casinos?
Online Sikkim casinos offer players the opportunity to bet on their favourite sporting events, like the IPL for cricket, and other various tournaments.