Like other states in India, Tamil Nadu has strict gambling laws. In this article, we will walk you through the details of gambling in the state and everything you need to know about gambling and betting laws.
Is it Legal?
No, gambling is not considered legal in Tamil Nadu. Whether it’s Teen Patti or Andar Bahar, gambling is strictly prohibited in the state. Still, it has become quite normal for people to form their gambling houses and participate in gambling. The only type of gambling that’s considered legally acceptable in Tamil Nadu is horseracing. It doesn’t look like the state will lift the restrictions from gambling in the near future. They have recently made changes to their gambling laws.
The Indian gambling laws have not restricted offshore gambling, which means these services are considered legally acceptable in Tamil Nadu. Many players in Chennai and other cities participate in online gambling without being subject to any form of penalty. However, the latest regulation has declared gambling in “cyberspace” illegal.
What are the Legal Gambling Options for Players in Tamil Nadu?
Tamil Nadu follows quite strict gambling regulations. So far, horse racing happens to be the only sport that the bettors could gamble on. Gambling houses, cricket betting, and even lotteries are considered illegal in the state.
Surprisingly, Tamil Nadu happens to be the only state with extremely strict gambling laws that even the promotional giveaways are discouraged here. The government has imposed even more restrictions on online gaming starting from February 2021. Now, gamblers are not allowed to place real money bets on online gaming. The only gambling opportunity Indians enjoy is online betting at casinos based outside India. However, if you are from Tamil Nadu, you can’t place bets on online sports. Players might end up in prison or with a hefty fine should they get caught participating in online gambling.
The only option you have is visiting the neighboring states where you could gamble on your favourite sports legally. For instance, Delhi has comparatively better and flexible laws than Tamil Nadu. So, you could visit Delhi or other states where gambling is considered legal.
Tamil Nadu Gambling Laws
In India, the Public Gaming Act of 1867 is followed in most states. Tamil Nadu is not an exception. But, these laws are often considered outdated. The act also provides the individual states with the option to manage gambling laws in the state. That’s why some states have followed the restrictive approach when it comes to gambling, while others are quite lenient.
The Tamil Nadu Gaming Act of 1930 states all the rules and conditions for gambling. As mentioned earlier, the government has recently passed the amendment bill that bans all types of sports betting and gambling operations that take place in cyberspace.
The major purpose of the gambling laws in Tamil Nadu was to prohibit all kinds of gambling activities in the state. Now that these laws were drafted in the year 1888, it goes without saying that there isn’t any clause in the gambling laws that prohibit people from trying their luck in online casinos.
This was seen as one of the biggest loopholes in the Chennai gambling laws. That’s because the punters might not have been able to form the gambling houses or participate in any form of sports betting at land-based casinos, but they still had the option to play at an online casino.
Now, online betting is no longer considered legal in Tamil Nadu. Any player who participates in such a form of gambling will end up getting a fine of INR 5,000 and a six-month prison term. Since the laws are recently passed, no case of imprisonment and any form of punishment has been reported in the state.
Lottery in Tamil Nadu
The lottery is not legally acceptable in Tamil Nadu. The state ran its own lottery program earlier, but because of some gambling problems and the fake ticket scams, it was banned again in 2003. Despite getting banned, you could still find plenty of lottery programs that are running illegally in the state. If the fine and charges do not concern you, then these lottery programs are definitely your go-to solution.
This leaves the gamblers with one option, i.e. traveling to Kerala. Many lottery companies in Kerala offer tickets to gamblers based in Tamil Nadu for a competitive price. So, that might be the ultimate choice for those who want to participate in the lottery without getting fined. Buying and selling lottery tickets might be illegal in Tamil Nadu, but then again it hasn’t stopped the international lottery platforms from operating in the area. That’s because the government has put restrictions on buying and selling lottery tickets within the state, but that doesn’t cover the international lottery programs. This allows people to buy lottery tickets online.
Still, players participate in the online lottery in the hope that they will pay a small fee as a fine to the casino should they get caught gambling.
The sports betting history in Tamil Nadu dates back to 1777 when approx 107-acres of land was used as the field for racing. So far, horse racing is the only legal sport in the state. Known as the Guindy Racecourse, this is the most popular horse race arena in the state.
Other than that, there is no sport that’s considered legally acceptable in Tamil Nadu. This includes sports betting. In addition to that, it is not possible for people to place bets on any sport either online or in a gambling house (not legally). People often place bets on cockfighting, which is yet another sport that’s considered illegal.
Games of Skill
Games of skill are acceptable in most states in India, as these games require people to use their skill and knowledge for wagering. Sadly, Tamil Nadu has prohibited these games too. Some of the popular card games, such as rummy, teen patti, and poker are banned in the state. That leaves the players with only one option, i.e. take the risk and wager online.