Telangana Gambling Laws

Telangana is one of the states in India with the strictest gambling laws.

Just like Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana government sees gambling as a problem and has therefore banned it almost completely.

Players located in Telangana are circumventing the ban, but unfortunately, they do so entirely at their own risk.

This guide takes a closer look at the gambling landscape of Telangana.

Surbhi Soni Senior Associate at Touchstone Partners

Audited by Surbhi Soni

Senior Associate at Law Firm Touchstone Partners

Last audit on 12th April 2022

How to gamble from Telangana

Is it possible to gamble from Telangana? Yes.

While we do not recommend or suggest that you participate in illegal gambling, it is still technically possible to gamble from within state borders.

Foreign online casino sites offer their services to Indian players, Telangana residents included, and are easily accessible using various software.

It might be technically possible to gamble from Telangana, but the truth is that it is not legal to do so.

No matter if the gambling is happening in a land-based casino setting or online, all types of gambling is forbidden, except for horse racing.

Since Hyderabad plays such a large role in the Indian horse racing world, even Telangana residents can bet on these or other Indian races offered by licensed bookmakers.

Even though it’s illegal to gamble from Telangana, no one has ever been prosecuted for playing at an off-shore online casino.

Gambling Laws in Telangana

The gambling laws of Telangana are, well, a bit confusing. This is because Telangana used to be a state together with Andhra Pradesh up until 2014.

They operated under what was then called the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act of 1974, but today, any gambling-related laws are dictated by the Telangana Gaming Act, 1974.

Telangana Gaming Act, 1974

The Telangana Gaming Act, 1974, prohibits all forms of games of chance and doesn’t differentiate between online and offline gambling.

The act, nowadays better known under the most recent Telangana Gaming (Second Amendment) Act, 2017, clearly states that any location, “cyberspace” included, used to organize gambling, is illegal within state borders.

Also, using these spaces for gambling is prohibited, which means that you, as a player, break the law when playing online.

Depending on the offense, the prosecuted may face up to two years imprisonment and fines of up to ₹10,000.

Casino in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, with almost 7 million inhabitants, is known for being a central hub for underground gambling.

Online you can find addresses and contact details to gambling houses, and even “casino parties,” where you can rent portable casino tools for parties.

All, of course, completely illegally.

The Hyderabad police work against illegal gambling in Hyderabad, and one of the ways this is done is by tracing payments from gambling rackets.

Casino in Warangal

Like Hyderabad or any other city or town in Telangana, playing casino in Warangal is illegal.

A few underground gambling houses have been established here throughout the years, but today, police are working hard to fight illegal gambling.

That said, there are still reports of cockfighting happening in Warangal’s streets from time to time.

Telangana FAQ

No, online betting is illegal in Telangana.
Betway is not legal in Telangana. It is possible to play, but understand that you would do so at your own risk.
As with all other forms of gambling except horse racing, online lottery is illegal in Telangana.

Lottery in Telangana

Since all forms of chance gambling are prohibited in the state, there are no local lotteries to take part in.

Lottery was offered earlier when Telangana was still part of the joint Andhra Pradesh state, but, since the split in 2014, lotteries are completely illegal.

That said, it is still possible to participate in lottery draws when located in a state that allows this, or when traveling, like the Nizamabad man who won ₹28.43 crores on a Dubai lottery.

Sports betting in Telangana

Most of India bans any form of sports betting, such as betting on cricket, Kabaddi, or football, which is also the case in Telangana.

Sports betting is not considered a game of skill, which is why you won’t find any bookmakers in the state offering bets on sports events.

The exception is horse racing, which is deemed a game of skill, according to the Indian government.

Horse racing in Telangana

Horse racing is legal in Telangana, and it’s made possible thanks to the huge amount of tax that the Hyderabad Racing Club has to pay, as per the Andhra Pradesh (Telangana Area) Horse Racing And Betting Tax Regulation 1358 F.

Both tote and pool betting on horse racing are available, and on average, 8000 people bet on races daily at the Malakpet Race Course through the Hyderabad Race Club.

Various Off-Course Tote Points are also available in Hyderabad, Warangal, and Nizamabad for betting.

However, it is important to note that winnings from horse racing are taxed at 28%.

Status on Rummy, Poker, Flush, and other card games

The Telangana Gaming (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 amended the original Gaming Act to now specifically ban online Rummy.

While Rummy has been up for the discussion of legalization, due to its partial use of skill, it is still a card game prohibited as per Telangana law.

The sister-state Andhra Pradesh has also banned online Rummy, in an attempt to protect its youth.

To sum it up

We think that it is unfortunate that the gambling laws in Telangana are as strict as they are.

Making gambling illegal often creates underground, black-market gambling dens, where players are not only committing a crime but are exposed to unsafe and unfair games.

We hope that gambling is instead regulated, which allows players to play responsibly.

It would also provide the state with profit and abolish the taboo of gambling and seeking help for gambling problems.

Disclaimer: This material is for general information only and is not intended as legal advice and no duty of care is owed to any reader. The readers of this material are requested to engage their own legal counsel in order to make any legal or business decisions and to obtain legal advice specific to them.

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