Bhutanese Gambling Laws
Gambling in illegal in Bhutan.
According to legal statute 393, citizens or visitors will be guilty of gambling in Bhutan if that person "stakes or wagers something of value" on a "contingent event" or "contest of chance" not under the person's "control or influence" in common bargain with a second party whereupon the said person will gain "something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”
The law also states that the crime of gambling is considered a petty misdemeanor. Authorized lotteries are not considered gambling.
A minimum sentence in the case of a petty misdemeanor is 1 month in jail, while the sentence cannot exceed 1 year in prison. In other words, I would suggest that travelers to Bhutan avoid gambling.
While India’s popular Playwin lottery was allowed in Bhutan, it was forced to close in 2007. This was due to high taxes imposed by the kingdom’s government in an effort to discourage gambling.
Kingdom of Bhutan Facts
Located in the Himalaya Mountains, the Kingdom of Bhutan is situated between India and China. The country is also known as “Land of the Thunder Dragon,” “Southern Land of Darkness” and “Southern Land of Four Approaches.”
The country’s national identity and cultural heritage is held in high regard, and outside influences are therefore highly regulated. While it remains very isolated and underdeveloped, a 2005 survey showed its citizens to be some of the happiest in the world. Their king has even coined a phase for this called “Gross Domestic Happiness.” Bhutan is also the only country to have banned the sale of tobacco.
Bhutan is divided into 20 districts. They are:
The largest city and capital of Bhutan is Samdrup Jongkhar Thimphu. Other important towns and cities include Jakar, Mongar, Punakha, Trongsa and Phuentsholing.
The Bhutanese called their homeland Druk Yul, roughly translated to the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
Due to a treaty between Bhutan and India, citizens of these countries may travel back and forth without needing a passport or visa. Citizens of Bhutan may also work in India without restrictions.
The economy is centered around tourism, agriculture, forestry and the sale of hydroelectric power to India. Around 80 percent of the population relies on agriculture.
The Ngultrum is the national currency of Bhutan. Its value is comparable to that of the Indian rupee. The rupee is also accepted.
Dzongkha is the national language. In schools, lessons are taught in English, so a large amount of the population is bilingual. Vajrayana Buddhism is the state religion, and Hinduism is the second most popular.
Archery is the national sport of Bhutan, but it differs greatly from the Olympic sport. Competitions are regularly held in villages across the kingdom. Darts, cricket and digor are also highly popular.
United Kingdom Gambling
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