Cricket legend Kapil Dev opened the first online betting centre in Sikkim.
Last Thursday India saw the opening of the first online betting centre, which took place in the capital of Sikkim, the only state in India where online sports betting is legal. According to the regulations brought in 2009 the state legalized online gaming and live casinos, while sports betting was allowed much later. Last year in August thanks to the amendment of the regulation, online sports betting was legalised and three licenses were allotted, one of which went to company Golden Gaming International Private Limited who run the newly-opened online betting centre. To make this event even more special the opening ceremony was attended by Kapil Dev, former cricket captain.
Cutting The Ribbon But Not Betting
Golden Gaming International Private Limited are very proud to be the first to use the license and provide the players with facilities in the heart of the city on busy MG Road. Another thing that shows their high expectations from this venture is that the centre was officially open by a legend of the most popular sport in India, former cricket captain Kapil Dev. However, when asked to place the first bet, the legend refused under the excuse that he is not a betting person.
To Gamble or Not To Gamble?
In India gambling is regulated differently from state to state, meaning it is up to each state to pass laws and rules on gambling. Sikkim is one of the states which recognized the benefits of legalizing online gambling so they brought Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act 2008. Still, they had to wait until 2014 for the Union home ministry to approve online betting activities. This decision was followed by the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2015 in August, which added sports betting to online games allowed. However, these new rules apply only if the online gambling activity is kept within the state of Sikkim. The state hopes to boost tourism with this new act, aiming at domestic tourists, primarily those from West Bengal. In a statement, Manoj Sethi, director of the Golden Gaming International Pvt Ltd, said, “The Sikkim venture is the first such initiative in the country, and we hope that other states also follow our unique model and legalise online sports betting too.”