Telangana Likely to Draft Online Gaming Ordinance Soon

K Chandrashekar Rao, Telangana Chief Minister, has instructed government officials to draft an ordinance to bolster the state’s anti-gambling laws according to media reports. The ordinance will likely be taken up by the Telangana cabinet when it meets on June 17.

Rao added that although the government has enforced strict action against card rooms, gambling still resumes via online platforms. Rao emphasized the need to tighten the gambling legislation in a review meeting carried out with senior officials.

Local news reports in May had signalled that the government has already begun the process of amending the Telangana Gaming Act via an ordinance. The ordinance might feature a new definition of ‘cyber space’ and possibly prohibit online poker, rummy and other such skill games, when played for stakes.

In the past, Rao and other Telangana officials have vehemently spoken against rummy clubs and ordered a crackdown on card rooms. It seems likely that the Chief Minister was referring to online rummy websites, which are immensely popular in Telangana, when he talked about how online gambling websites are exploiting loopholes to resume operations.

It is uncertain whether the Telangana council of ministers ultimately go ahead and enforce the ordinance banning rummy and other skill games like online poker. Any such move by the government to bar online skill games is sure to be challenged legally by online gaming firms, many of which are situated in Hyderabad.

If the ordinance is enforced, it will definitely impact people who play online poker in India.