Karnataka High Court Considers Rummy as Skill Based Game and Lifts Ban on Online Rummy Games
The petitioners are the All Indian Gaming Federation (AIGF), Mobile Premier League, Games24x7, Head Digital Works Private Ltd, Gameskraft, and Junglee Games. The case will be heard by a bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Krishna S Dixit.
What is the issue?
Few companies that run websites like online fantasy sports and rummy argue that games require skills to play, and there is no gambling. The game of rummy whether the traditional one or the online one has stuck around for decades now where we’ve lost track of how long it has been.
It has and is being played by millions of people around the world and is most loved as well. One thing that also stuck around was the constant debate that Online Rummy is a game of chance/ a game of luck and not a game of skill. There are various statements to prove both sides. The bans on these online rummy games in states have also been due to this very reason.
Their arguments were accepted by the high courts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Where the companies cited a law laid down by the Supreme Court in 1957 that rummy card games or online competitive games of skill are business activities protected under the sub-sections of Article 19 of the Constitution.
When was the law passed by Karnataka? What Kerala government did?
When on one hand the Karnataka Government banned online rummy and gambling the other all the players residing in Kerala saw a ray of hope and light on 27th September 2021 notified on October 5. When the Kerala High Courts reconsidered the decision of the state government which imposed a ban on the Online Rummy Games.
The government under the Kerala Gaming Act 1960 implied this ban which was later lifted by the high court. It wasn’t an easy out because there was a lot of back and forth, debates, and arguments that did take place. But all’s well that ends well. The ban was implied majorly due to the fact that Online Rummy Games is a game of chance and luck. It was said that physical online rummy cannot be allowed to play, and online rummy games need to be banned. This was a big setback.
The debate still continues in various places, but the bottom line is that Online Rummy is a Game of Skill. The Kerala High Court saw through this and considered online rummy games as a game of ‘mere skill’. This surely did bring about a huge sigh of relief among the skill-gaming industry and a renouncement among rummy players!
A single judge bench of the Kerala High Court Justice TR Ravi called out the government in regard to the ban. He proposed that according to the rights mentioned in the Constitution of India this was unconstitutional as it violated Article 14 and Article 19 (g).
The example provided by Justice TR Ravi to define Online Rummy as a game of skill and not a game of chance was that if the cards displayed on the table are arranged in sets with the person’s efforts and then declared then it is a game of skill but if the cards are made into sets without any efforts yet managed to declare them then it is a game of chance.
Mukul Rahotgi a Senior Advocate did appear as one of the petitioners during the course and mentioned that online rummy cash games cannot be claimed as a game of chance simply because it is addictive. He further added that the state promotes lotteries which are also addictive.
Which states have banned online gaming?
Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Nagaland, and Sikkim have banned online rummy. However, the Madras high court in August. The state government’s ban on online rummy holds that it requires skills and cannot be considered gambling.
Concerns around online rummy games
Rajya Sabha member and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushil Kumar Modi demanded that the government should regulate the online gaming industry like online rummy games and impose a tax on it.
According to our opinion
Classic Rummy has fun-packed games, practice sessions, and tournaments that can be played and enjoyed by players of all age groups above the age of 18. Rummy online cash game app download is a mix of thrill, excitement, fun, and most important skill because without skill there is no point playing the game. There is a lot of skill, logic, reasoning, rationing, and various other intrapersonal skills that one needs to utilize during the game! So, go ahead and enjoy all of this in one place and one game.