Online Games Like Rummy, Poker Banned In This State; 6-Month Jail For Playing!
In a huge setback for businesses which are into online games, Andhra Pradesh has banned online games like rummy, poker, classifying them as online gambling.
Prison upto 1 year has been proposed for organizers for such games in the state.
Now, the question is, will such ban on online games work? And what is the purpose here?
Andhra Pradesh Bans Online Gambling
The State Cabinet of Andhra Pradesh, headed by popular leader and Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy has agreed to ban online games like rummy and poker.
Now the Cabinet will meet and approve the amendments to the State Laws, to bring in this ban.
Prison term upto 1 year has been proposed, for those who organize such online games.
Information and Public Relations Minister Perni Venkataramaiah has confirmed this, as he said that the Cabinet will introduce amendments to State Gaming Act, 1974.
Those who are playing online games will be jailed for 6 months.
He said, “For a first time offender, organisers of online gambling would get a jail term of one year along with a fine, while the jail term would go up to two years with a fine for repeat offenders. Those playing online games will be sentenced for six months jail,”
The Cabinet of Ministers in Andhra Pradesh has categorized online games like rummy and poker as ‘online gambling’, and all such online gamblng apps/portals will be banned.
Legality Of Playing Online Games Like Rummy, Poker
In 2015, a Supreme Court verdict declared that game of rummy is a game of skill, hence cannot be categorized as gambling.
This verdict was based on a similar verdict by Supreme Court in 1957, when they distinguished between game of skills and chance, and this paved the way for rummy games, and subsequently poker, and online versions of the same.
Last year, Calcutta High Court also stated that poker is a game of skill, and not chance, hence cannot be stopped.
Even horse racing is categorized as game of skill, and not chance.
However , in some states like Assam, Odisha, Sikkim, Nagaland and Telangana, playing rummy with cash is not allowed, and there is ambiguity to the extent of the law.
Now, it’s not clear whether Andhra Pradesh Cabinet will consider rummy, poker as game of skill or not, since Supreme Court and various High Courts have already declared them as game of skills, and not gambling.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.