Felicia Wijkander
Last updated on 23rd November 2020

Published: 02/10/2020

Categories: Guides, Guides Gambling Laws

Tamil Nadu Gambling Laws

Although Tamil Nadu is geographically close to liberal states like Kerala, Goa, and Karnataka, the state still strictly restricts gambling.

Nearly all forms of gambling are illegal in the state, lottery included. The only types of betting that are accepted within Tamil Nadu borders are horse racing and Rummy.

But don’t fret, TN is yet another Indian state with archaic gambling laws, which provide great opportunities to gamble online without issues.

How to gamble from Tamil Nadu

Gambling from Tamil Nadu is done with the help of an internet connection. So, if you’re reading this, it means you are already ready to play!

Several trusted online casino sites allow Indian players to sign up and play; some have even tailored their website to specifically cater to Indians.

Casinos like 10CRIC and Pure Casino are available no matter where you are located in the state; all you need to do is sign-up and deposit, using a reliable payment method like Paytm or Google Pay.


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The majority of gambling is illegal in Tamil Nadu. This includes Teen Patti and Andar Bahar. Despite this, it’s not unusual for people to travel to Chennai to play games like these.

The only fully legal type of gambling in the state is horse racing, and it doesn’t look as if the state will ease its restrictions on other types of games any time soon.

Since offshore gambling sites aren’t restricted by any gambling law in India, they can’t be shut down. And no Indian player has been arrested for playing at one of these sites.

Gambling Laws in Tamil Nadu

For the person just getting to know India’s gambling laws, the Tamil Nadu ones might be a bit confusing.

The reason for this is because Tamil Nadu was known as Madras State up until 1969. The capital city Chennai was known under the name of Madras up until 1996.

Furthermore, the state uses two different Acts for gambling; the Madras City Police Act, 1888, and the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930.

The Madras City Police Act, 1888 & The Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930

While the Madras City Police Act is used for any gambling activity occurring within Chennai and its suburbs, the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act includes smaller towns and communities.

That said, both acts are very similar in how they view gambling, and owning, running, or visiting a gaming-house anywhere in Tamil Nadu is strictly prohibited.

Casino in Chennai

Being the capital city of Tamil Nadu, there’s no surprise that illegal betting is common here. Despite gambling being prohibited, it’s first and foremost those organizing gameplay with money that are arrested by police.

And “organized” can be as simple as gambling with your friends, like Shaam, who was arrested together with 11 other people in his apartment in July 2020.

A much safer way to play casino in Chennai would be to play at one of the online casino sites listed here at SevenJackpots.

Casino in Coimbatore

Just like for the capital, gambling in Coimbatore is restricted and prohibited by law. Although Coimbatore is a city of over 1.6 million people, it does attract a lot fewer gamblers in comparison to Chennai.

That said, you can play casino in Coimbatore easily by heading online for the excitement, just as you would if living in Chennai.

Lottery in Tamil Nadu

Thirteen states in India allow state-lottery, and unfortunately, Tamil Nadu is not one of them.

Lotteries have been banned in Tamil Nadu since 2003, and the ban prohibits state-lotteries, and the sale of tickets to lotteries based outside the state.

And the “random draw” ban doesn’t stop there. In TN, residents aren’t even allowed to participate in giveaways.

Big companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestlé, etc., are refraining from holding giveaways in the state, as The Tamil Nadu Prize Schemes (Prohibition) Act, 1979, prohibits them from doing so.

Sports betting in Tamil Nadu

You might already have caught on how the gambling laws in Tamil Nadu work. Yes, sports betting is also considered illegal in the state.

The only exception to the rule is horse racing, as it is a sport deemed a game of skill by the Indian Supreme Court.

That said, underground cricket betting is massive in Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai. Although they are available there, we recommend using an online sportsbook like Betway.

The Cockfigths in Karur

Betting on various animal fights or competitions is common in more rural areas of India, and Tamil Nadu is no exception.

Karur is a small city in the central TN, known for hosting large gatherings of cockfights. Now, the fights themselves are not completely illegal, as long as the district administration has approved them, but betting on these fights is considered a crime just like any sports betting.

Horse racing in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is home to India’s oldest racecourse, the Guindy Racecourse, in Chennai.

It also holds the Ooty Racecourse in The Nilgiri Hills, and both of these courses host some of the most popular horse races in India.

For locals, betting on horse racing is the only legal form of betting one can do when physically present in the state, and it’s confirmed legal as per the Tamil Nadu Betting Tax Act, 1935.

Status on Rummy, Poker, Flush and other card games

Rummy is in a league on its own when talking about card games in Tamil Nadu. The reason for this is because Rummy is considered somewhat legal.

Rummy was confirmed a game of skill in 1967 but was deemed illegal in 2012, stating that the game turns illegal due to the nature of real money stakes and that the game’s location is considered a gaming-house.

However, this was appealed in 2015, and today, Rummy is legal, as long as it’s not played in a gaming-house establishment.

All other card games are illegal, although you can easily find a huge selection at foreign casino sites online.

To sum it up

Although gambling is very present in Tamil Nadu, the vast majority of it is illegal.

And while it is clear that the government mainly focuses on catching those organizing gambling, rather than arresting players, we don’t believe that local gambling is the best option.

Nothing in state or Indian law prohibits players from gambling at online casino sites based outside of India, which is why you’ll find the best offshore sites listed here at SevenJackpots.

No matter if you are looking for good live casino tables or the latest slot games, you’ll find it here.