Is Tambola Gambling?


Tambola or ‘housie' as it is popularly known in some parts of India is something that almost everyone knows how to play. Children as young as four years of age know it as do people in their eighties. Tambola is played at birthday parties, recreational clubs, and now online. We don't think anyone would have thought of Tambola as being illegal in India but technically it is. Is Tambola gambling? Yes, according to the law if it were strictly applied. The actual reality on the ground is something different, though.

Is Tambola gambling?

yes, if you go by the definition of gambling as per the law. Anytime you play Taambola for actual money, you are gambling. This holds true for raffles as well, all of which are seen as different kinds of gambling games.

The reason behind this is the archaic law, the Public Gambling Act of 1867, which is the most recent law that India has dealing with gambling. It is so outdated that it does not take into account our changing world, changing habits, and society.

In fact, online casinos or online gambling at places like Royal Panda is currently in a legal gray area because the law does not mention it specifically. Since there was no internet in 1867, that is not surprising at all!

The government, police, or other regulatory authorities take a very lax view on things like Tambola. The law exists and can be used to punish someone but it is rarely if ever used. No one has ever gone to jail or even paid a fine for gambling online.

Playing games like Tambola, Rummy, Andar Bahar, and Ludo is in our blood. It is a part of Indian society which is just harmless recreation. Can some people take it to an unhealthy level? They can and we are sure they do but that is true for everything in society.


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