Sep 28, 2021 05:05 UTC
Sep 28, 2021 at 05:05 UTC
Kerala HC: Ban on online rummy unconstitutional
The Kerala High Court observed that the ban on online rummy when played for stakes is unconstitutional as being a game of skill.
Gameskraft Technologies Pvt Ltd v. State of Kerala
A single-judge bench of Justice TR Ravi ruled that banning online games of skill played for money, such as rummy, is arbitrary and a violation of fundamental rights.
In this case, the Government of Kerala issued a notification on 23 February 2021, under the provisions of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 which set bans “online rummy when played for stakes”.
The petitioner relied on the judgments of the Supreme Court in KR Lakshmanan v. State of Tamil Nadu & Ors. and State of Andhra Pradesh v K Satyanarayana & Ors. in which it was held that rummy is primarily a game of skill.
The Apex Court had held that competitions, where success depended on a substantial degree of skill, would not amount to gambling and for that reason could not be prohibited under State gambling and gaming legislations.
The petitioner also contended that online rummy is a game of skills that is played by stakes and thereby it is a business hence it stands protected under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. Also under Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act,1960 the power is limited to specify what is a game of sufficient skill to warrant the exemption from gambling regulations.
Therefore, the court held that banning online games of skill played for money, such as rummy, is arbitrary and a violation of fundamental rights, hence the notification issued by the government banning online rummy stands unenforceable.