gambling laws in tamil

Gambling Laws in Tamil Nadu: LEGAL or ILLEGAL?

By Anthony

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Do you enjoy gambling and online betting? Are you currently located in the Tamil Nadu area, India?

Celebrations are in order for the Tamil gambling community and fandom! In August 2021, the High Court of Madras rendered the Police Laws and the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act invalid, a year after the total ban on gambling. This ban included all types of offline and online gambling, with very few exceptions.

Below, you can see the amendments and changes brought to the gambling laws in Tamil in 2020.

Gambling Laws in Tamil

Banwarilal Purohit, the current Governor approved a new regulation in relation to gambling laws in Tamil, in November 2020. This ordinance outlawed both offline and online gambling, including games like poker and also lottery games.

Only horserace betting remained legal under this new law. Since it is regarded more like a talent or skill game than luck, this game is allowed if there is not any money involved. The same applies to rummy which can be played simply for fun. Both these games can be played only offline, so you needed to play in person.

The Deputy Chief Minister explained that the reason for this severe ban was the high rate of suicides attributed to online gambling. The officials became aware of numerous suicides caused by debts in the previous years. That’s why they tried to stop gambling, which they consider to be corrupting the people and leading them into bankruptcy.

The plan was to regulate gambling better or to ban it altogether to prevent similar situations. In the end, the authorities opted for a complete ban on gambling, which some people saw as extreme and unnecessary. It is obvious there can be a connection between online gambling and debt, but there is no real danger if you play responsibly.

Gambling Laws in Tamil and Fines

Indian citizens who didn’t obey the law received serious punishment. They could get a $135 fine, be sent to jail for up to two years, and sometimes even both. All of this for being involved in offline or online gambling.

Not surprisingly, this ban had some negative effects as it led to the development of underground betting and gambling centres in the city of Chennai. A lot of people got involved in illegal gambling activities in Tamil’s capital. This resulted in discreet casinos that you could access if you can face the risks.

Of course, the Indians’ passion for gambling could not be stopped, so they started gathering in private to organise gambling parties with friends and families using the WhatsApp application to set everything up. Since WhatsApp offers encryption, they could gather safely in private and even though some people went to prison, that didn’t stop the rest from gambling.


Compared to other states in India, gambling laws in Tamil Nadu are quite severe. Even the state lottery is illegal in Tamil Nadu. However, you can participate in the national lottery, although only if you buy your ticket in one of the 13 states in India that allow lotteries.

Gambling Ban: Is it Unconstitutional?

The Officials from High court had to rethink this measure after receiving numerous complaints from online casino managers from Tamil Nadu. In February 2021, they had to revisit the gambling laws in Tamil and come up with less strict and severe legislation. The petitioners explained that their businesses are legitimate and they should be legal while challenging how valid the Gambling and Police Laws Act of 2021 is.

After reassessing and reviewing the legislation, the Supreme Court ruled it contradictory to the 19th article in the Constitution. This article mentions citizens’ rights to execute any kind of profession, legal business, and carry out any trade they choose.

In the end, the Court allowed the local government to authorize a new, updated law that was formulated with great care in order to avoid any misunderstandings.

The Government’s Take on the New Law

Of course, the Government met this updated decision with a lot of scepticism. They still claim that both adults and young people can lose their life savings by participating in online gambling.

Government officials  even attempted to reinstate another ordinance claiming that online casino games are most of the time rigged. Luckily, the High Court refused this request and opted to regulate gambling, not to completely ban it.

The supreme court’s decision to out rule the strict regulations was met with excitement by the CEO of AIGF (All India Gaming Federation), Roland Landers. He also requests the local authorities to create a solid gambling regulatory framework since this is an industry generating revenue, investments, and jobs for Indian citizens.

The AIGF offers its expertise and support to the local government in hopes of creating constitutional laws for gambling. The Federation is a model for best practices in the industry, being among the top online gambling players in India.

Additionally, back in 2018, All India Gaming Federation also released a charter for Skill games. It includes a number of regulations organized in four important areas: legality, integrity, good governance and practices. The Charter addresses topics like responsible gambling, player security and it also provides guidelines for solid marketing. It is available to read on their official website.


All in all, the progression of the gambling laws in Tamil over the years is encouraging. There is great progress from a complete ban to a more modern set of laws regulating online gambling. Indian gamblers have a real chance of getting rich by gambling online since this is no longer illegal. Pick your favourite online casino and enjoy your favourite games safely from home. Hopefully, in the near future, the AIGF and the High Court will come up with a viable resolution for this issue.

September 18, 2021