The fight for poker heated up in Gujarat, with a third petition being filed in the High Court for uninterrupted operations by AAA Gaming Pvt Ltd, a company managed by poker player Jaydeep Dawer in Surat. Prior to this petition, KN Suresh filed the first petition for unhindered poker operations of his company Indian Poker Association (IPA) in October’16. This was followed up by another plea by the Hotel Ramada in late December, with all three seeking respite from local authorities on the basis of poker being a game of skill rather than one of chance.
The present petitioner, AAA Gaming first applied to the Commissioner of Police in Surat on January 17 to operate a poker room in the city’s Umra area. However, 10 days later the company’s application was rejected by the commissioner on the grounds that “poker is a game of chance and not skill which allows gambling in game”.
Subsequently, the petitioner approached the Court and Justice C.L. Soni then issued notices to the Commissioner of Police in Surat and the police inspector in-charge of Umra police station, as well as to the State government.
AAA Gaming’s lawyer Maulin Pandya also sought interim relief, which the judge granted.
The petition cited section 13 of the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, which exempts a game of skill from the purview of gambling. He pointed out that the commissioner had rejected their application without providing any details as to how they had reached the conclusion that poker was gambling.
Following Goa, Bengaluru & Kolkata, it appears as if Surat and Ahmedabad may soon follow suit and become the next hubs of poker..
For those who can’t live a day without playing India’s most popular card game, here is some great news.
More than a month ago the Gujarat High Court had judged poker to be a game which relied considerably on chance; a judgement which affected the countless individuals who play poker in India.
In what can be dubbed as a boost to poker in India, a top government official has stated that Goa’s offshore casinos may soon be shifted on land in the coming years