Despite the fact Telangana is a relatively young state, founded in 2014, the gambling habits of its citizens have roots in ancient times. And many of them, including you, are probably wondering how this popular pastime is regulated. What are Telangana gambling laws? Is this activity even legal? Unfortunately, we have to say how local authorities are incredibly strict, and laws are restrictive. Instead of focusing on providing a safe and regulated gaming experience, they are focused on bans that more often don’t work than they do. After all, gamblers are gonna gamble! In this article, we provide a detailed insight into gambling in Telangana.
Gambling Laws in Telangana
Telangana separated from Andhra Pradesh in 2014 but still hasn’t created its own gambling legislation. The entire industry is regulated by the
Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 1974. This law (now referred to as Telangana Gaming Act, 1974) was slightly amended in 2017 and renamed to Telangana Gaming (Amendment) Act, 2017. But unless you are a lawyer or state official, they are essentially the same thing.
The Act of 2017 is one of the first laws to mention internet casinos and refers to them as gambling houses in cyberspace. It also determines the fines for running and playing at such an operation:
- for the first offence, you get up to one year of imprisonment, plus a fine of up to 5,000 rupees
- for every subsequent offence, you get up to two years in prison, plus more than a 10,000 rupees fine
Obviously, local companies cannot provide Telangana online gambling but only by offshore casinos regulated elsewhere. However, it is still illegal, and you might get a big fine just for playing.
Casinos in Hyderabad
Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana, and therefore it is completely understandable it has the biggest share in the gambling community. It is important to understand how Telangana casinos, including those in Hyderabad, operate illegally and underground. Police raids in casinos in Telangana are frequent and common, so we would never advise you to play in such an establishment.
If you want to get that authentic and realistic casino experience, we advise you to visit Goa, Daman, or Sikkim. These states are worth the travel, as you get access to legal gambling venues, where you won’t get in trouble just for playing your favourite games. Book your next vacation there. Otherwise, you might have to wait for a lifetime to play some games. At the moment, Telangana or any of its cities show no interest in opening its doors to the gambling industry, even though there were some valuable initiatives. At the same time, it was still part of Andhra Pradesh. Considering a long time passed, such plans won’t be renewed anytime soon.
Lottery in Telangana
Telangana betting laws don’t allow land-based lottery of any kind, according to the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Lotteries Act, 1968. This decision was made immediately after the state was founded, back in 2014. It is also important to note how several big online lotteries have been banned, namely Playwin and Essel Group.
This is why more and more customers turn to online lottery companies, even though they are illegal and often blocked by the authorities. Such companies operate internationally and usually have licenses provided by the offshore regulatory. Telangana authorities have little to no power over international companies, but they put an admirable effort to block such sites. Also, you can still buy your tickets when out of state. All you need to do is travel somewhere where the lottery is allowed. It is well-known how Indian authorities do their best to make things as complicated as possible, and this type of regulation proves it.
Horse Betting in Telangana
One of the very few types of betting that is allowed is horse betting. Horse betting in Telangana is highly regulated and organized within racecourses, such as those belonging to Hyderabad Race Club (HRC). This popular activity is considered to be a game of skill rather than a game of chance. According to law and several court rulings, it takes quite a skill and knowledge to determine the winning horse. But there is more to the story than just the willingness of authorities to provide some entertainment for the masses.
Horse races are lucrative businesses, and according to The Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Horse Racing And Betting Tax Regulation 1358 F, the state collects taxes from all club activities, including gambling. According to some estimates, the most popular clubs pay up to $1 million, plus additional taxes for the Central Government. While at the races, you can place a variety of bets, including totes. However, keep in mind all winnings are taxed at a high rate of 28%.
Gambling Games You Can Play in Telangana
All gamblers have their gambling favourites. And even though games of skill are 100% legal, there is a catch (as it is quite common in India). Poker is 100% legal, and poker joints all over the state are thriving. At the same time, you can only play rummy in land-based venues, and preferably for smaller stakes. So, how easy is it to play skill games like Teen Patti and poker?
Well, while there are many skill game joints on every corner, keep in mind that a hostile environment isn’t exactly helping customers nor operators. The raids are frequent and strict.
Unfortunately, just like in other aspects of life – the more money you have, the easier it is for you to gamble. While smaller joints in the suburbs get raided frequently, most VIP clubs operate without a single police officer in sight. It is impossible to fight against that, and all we can advise you is try to find a solid club to play at.
Sports Betting in Telangana
Horse races are a sport, and they are completely legal to bet on. Does that make wagering on other sports legal as well? Unfortunately not. Cricket betting in Telangana is forbidden, just like betting on soccer, basketball, tennis, or any other sport that comes into your mind.
For some reason, sports are not considered a skill in Telangana, which is a bit insane. Just like horse jockeys, other athletes put a lot of effort into their shape and endurance, and sports fans know how different factors affect their favourite teams. Yet, the authorities decided to turn a blind eye. You won’t find a single casino in Hyderabad or a bookie parlour. The entire industry is blocked under the Public Gambling Act 1967 and The Information Technology Act 2000.
All these restrictions don’t prevent enthusiasts from placing bets. Betting racquets and small groups have found their way to operate without any licenses, usually nearby sports sites. Nevertheless, we can’t recommend using the services of such groups or organizations.
How to Gamble from Telangana
Online rummy in Telangana has been banned with the Telangana Gaming (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2017. Other online games and Telangana online casinos went down with it. Online gambling is banned in this state, and cyber police and ISPs are putting a lot of effort into making sure no citizens enjoy this activity.
The choice is up to you. We would never advise you to play when the state explicitly forbids it. If you remain persistent and still want to play, please understand you are doing it on your own responsibility. We would rather recommend you stick with available gambling options that haven’t been banned yet.
Future of Gambling in Telangana
The future of online cash games in Telangana or any other gambling games is not very bright. Telangana authorities opted for a restrictive approach that usually has a countereffect. They probably decided that if they ban gambling, people won’t gamble, forgetting there is nothing sweeter than the taste of forbidden fruit.
The urge to take chances and gamble is strong, and people will always gamble, regardless of the laws. Such a hostile environment towards gambling will make people turn to unauthorized joints run by shady individuals and unlicensed online casinos that are only after customer’s money. At the same time, the state will lose a pretty sum yearly. Gambling is a lucrative industry, and the ban can come with a price tag worth millions. Also, let’s not forget about how gambling can lower unemployment rates and bring an influx of tourists, which will be beneficial for other sectors. To our disappointment, it seems that Telangana fails to understand the potential such an industry brings and decides to wash its hands from any gambling.
- 1️⃣ Is gambling legal in Telangana?
- Gambling is illegal in Telangana for the most part. This also includes sports betting and online gambling of all sorts.
- 2️⃣ Can I buy lottery tickets in Telangana?
- It is impossible to buy lottery tickets in Telangana, but you can always buy some when you leave the state. It is not illegal to buy tickets in other states and win their lotteries.
- 3️⃣ Can I bet on horses?
- Betting on horse races is allowed, as long as you do it according to the law. You can place bets on the same day the race takes place with authorized betting providers.
- 4️⃣ Can I play rummy online?
- Unfortunately, no. Online rummy has been banned since 2017. You can choose to play rummy in land-based clubs but choose them wisely. Is it possible to bet on cricket? Betting on cricket is a type of sports betting, meaning it is banned in Telangana. We advise against placing bets with illegal bookies that operate around sports terrains.