Kerala High Court Lifts Ban on Online Rummy Games

Team SoOLEGAL 28 Sep 2021 1:12pm

Kerala High Court Lifts Ban on Online Rummy Games

The state government's ban on online rummy was declared unlawful and unenforceable by a single bench of the high court on Monday (27th September’2021). According to the court, it is a game of mere skill that is exempt from the general ban on games of chance.

Justice TR Ravi held that the government's notification banning online rummy games is arbitrary, illegal, as well as infringes the right to equality and the right to carry on a trade, profession, or business, after considering four petitions brought by companies that run online rummy games.

The court relied on two Supreme Court decisions (State of Andhra Pradesh vs K Satyanarayana of 1968, 1967 Latest Caselaw 266 SC and Dr KR Lakshmanan vs State of Tamil Nadu and Others, 1996 SCC (2) 226), as well as Sections 3 and 14 of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960, to rule that rummy is a game of pure skill. Even without the state government issuing a notification exempting it from the general ban on games of chance, the court determined that rummy remains a "game of mere skill," as interpreted in the apex court's judgments.

“On the question whether Online Rummy is a ‘game of skill' and ‘not of chance,' I hold that on the very same reasoning adopted by the Hon'ble Supreme Court to find the game of Rummy as a ‘game of skill,' the game of Online Rummy will also have to be held to be a ‘game of skill,” the court said in the judgment. The court ruled that online rummy, whether played with or without stakes, is still a "game of skill."

The court also ruled that any skill game is exempt from the general ban, even if the state government does not issue a notification under Section 14 excluding such a game. The government's notification excluding a game of skill is thus needless, according to the court.

Tagged: Kerala High Court   Online Rummy Games   Justice TR Ravi   rummy games   Supreme Court   Tamil Nadu   Kerala Gaming Act   Online Rummy  
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