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Kerala Govt. Makes Online Rummy Illegal When Played For Stakes

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
1 March 2021 4:55 AM GMT
Kerala Govt. Makes Online Rummy Illegal When Played For Stakes
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The Kerala Government has issued a notification making online rummy illegal when played for stakes.Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960, which regulates gambling activities, empowers the Goverment to exempt a game from all or any of the provisions of the Act if they are satisfied that in any game the element of skills is more predominant than the element of chance.By a...

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The Kerala Government has issued a notification making online rummy illegal when played for stakes.

Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960, which regulates gambling activities, empowers the Goverment to exempt a game from all or any of the provisions of the Act if they are satisfied that in any game the element of skills is more predominant than the element of chance.

By a notification issued in 1976, the Government had exempted 'Rummy' invoking Section 14A. On 23rd February 2021, the Government amended this notification and added the following words: 'Except online Rummy when played for stakes'.

A Public Interest Litigation seeking ban of online rummy was disposed of by the High Court of Kerala recently recording the submission made by the State that they would take a decision on the aspect of inclusion of online gambling and online betting, within the purview of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960. One Pauly Vadakkan had approached the High Court seeking the ban of online rummy contending that the gambling through online platforms is now a growing menace in the State. It was submitted that Gaming Act is inadequate to deal with the challenges posed by online gambling as it does not have provisions covering activities done virtually via electronic devices.

Last year, the Madras High Court had stressed upon the urgent need to address and regulate "online games" such as rummy, bridge, nap, poker, etc. that are luring unemployed youth to bet their money. The Gujarat High Court had also directed the State to consider a PIL, seeking regulation of online gambling, as a representation, and do the needful in the "larger public interest".

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