Rummy Operators Set to Challenge Telangana Gaming Ordinance

Since the clearance of the gaming ordinance, at least three rummy companies including Head Infotech Pvt. Ltd., Play Games24x7 Pvt. Ltd. and Junglee Games Pvt. Ltd. have filed writ petitions in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court in an attempt to challenge the validity of the ordinance.

The three rummy companies contest that the ordinance impinges on their constitutional right to free trade and commerce.

The companies have further contested that rummy has been declared a ‘game of skill’ by the Supreme Court of India and the explanation within the ordinance stating the opposite overrules the express judgment of the SC. The petition also argues that such overruling of a Supreme Court judgment is not permissible by any means.

Rummy companies have additionally challenged the ordinance on various other legal grounds. The companies have requested that the ordinance be stayed immediately so that they can resume operations until final determination of the issue.

The petitions of the rummy companies were listed before the bench of Justice T Rajani and Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan on June 23 and 24 but did not come up for hearing. The issue may come up for hearing again tomorrow and the petitioners will likely press for interim relief and a stay on the operation, according to sources.

Other non-Telangana based operators have completely stopped accepting players from Telangana and put up a disclaimer to that effect on their respective websites. The impact this will have on people who play online poker in India in the state is still unknown.