An activist in Sikkim and his partner were arrested for damaging a store that had a permit to advertise the World Cup. Now a few days later, the Indian state is ensuring everyone understands there is a ban for local residents. Anyone living in Sikkim is not allowed to access sports betting shops that are being run by Golden Gaming International.
Golden Gaming was the target of the activist. They had a booth in Gangtok when Noel Sharma took exception to the place and started tearing it to shreds. Sharma said the booth was illegally promoting betting for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He stated the booth was set up with a darts game, where people could spin the wheel and decide who was going to win the World Cup. Coupons where being given that could be used at licensed gaming parlors in Sikkim.
Chief Minister of Sikkim, Kumar Chamling announced the state would ban local residents from going into Golden Gaming’s betting shops. If locals are found in the shop, Golden Gaming will lose their operating license. The license allows foreigners to go in and make wagers. The five-star hotel and casinos are legally allowed to ban local residents under the state gambling laws. However, the laws do not extend to the type of shop Golden Gaming is and whether they need to ban locals. It may be that the laws need to be amended before the government can actually make it happen.
Golden Gaming is an “online” sports betting operation, which offers intranet betting and has done so since May 2016. The state-approved the activity in 2015. Golden Gaming has several betting shops and even gained a land-based license in 2017 to operate legally. The idea was to help increase tourism.
Other Sports Betting Situations
India is not keen to allow gambling of any kind when it comes to land-based casinos as a whole country. However, the power is with the states and whether they wish to provide gambling, legally, to foreigners. Many choose to do so as a way to boost tourism, but bookmaking is considered illegal throughout the country. Many foreigner-only casinos are located on the water in Goa as a way to make tourists happy but keep locals out of the casinos.
Changes may happen soon to the laws after the World Cup issues India is seeing with residents trying to gamble and the activist situation.