Due in large part to the world’s perceptions of Indian culture, the people of India have never been viewed as gambling enthusiasts. Aside from Countries in the Middle East, India is one of the few countries in the world that still have a long-standing law on the books that strictly prohibits all forms of gambling (see the India Gambling Act of 867).
Clearly, the realities about gambling in India are quite different. Over the last 50 years, revisional laws have been passed in support of India residents gambling on games of skill. In the eyes and minds of lawmakers, games of skill would include lotteries, card games like Rummy and Poker, and horse race betting.
While it is still illegal for India residents to play online casino games for real cash, there has been no effort on the part of law enforcement to monitor such activities. That is why millions of India residents are now proud owners of online casino gambling accounts registered and licensed in countries like the UK.
Gambling Goes to Bollywood
Movies often imitate culture. With the rise in popularity of gambling throughout India, other parts of the Indian culture have taken note. For instance, the Bollywood community has certainly taken note of what’s happening in the country. This has led the way to several Bollywood movie studios signing on to produce movies that depict certain aspects of the gambling community. If you are curious about Bollywood movies about casino gambling and gamblers, you will note there are a least five important movies of note. Let us take a look at three movies that successfully focused on the gambling community in India.
Gambler (1971): Bollywood’s first gambling movie of note. The story revolves around a police inspector who was abandoned by his parents at a young age. After receiving threats while investigating India’s corrupt underworld, Inspector Pandey quits his law enforcement job in favor of becoming a professional gambler. Though he has great financial success, it comes at quite a price in other parts of his life.
Jannat (2008): The movie revolves around a young street smart gambler who sets out on a career as a cricket bookmaker. After achieving great success and fortune as a bookie, he meets a love interest and decides to go legit. When it comes to becoming a successful businessman, the man finds his life spiraling out of control as his fortune and love are put at risk.
Teen Patti (2010): Named after one of India’s most popular card gambling games. The movie stars Oscar award winning actor Ben Kingsley who plays a gambler and renowned mathematician named Perci. Perci meets up with another mathematician who has developed a mathematical system to beat the game of Teen Patti. After proving the system works, the two mathematicians step up into the world of notorious gamblers where they face the trials and tribulations that come from delving into the darker parts of the gambling world.
Given the current changes that are taking place in Indian society as it relates to gambling, it’s fair to suggest that gambling is going to be the focus of more Bollywood movies in the future.