telangana to ban online poker and rummy

The Telangana government could likely promulgate an ordinance to prohibit online poker in India and rummy and classify it along with other forms of gambling and betting according to local media reports.

Reports suggest that the Telangana Gaming Act, 1974 may be altered by way of an ordinance and a new meaning of the term of ‘cyber space’ would be implemented in the Gaming Act. Further the law may indicate that playing sports betting, online matka, poker and rummy would incur criminal charges which could range from a fine of INR 5,000 for the first offence to an imprisonment and much higher fine for a second offence.

K Chandrashekar Rao, Telangana Chief Minister, has talked about closing down many rummy operations in the past and this new move may be aimed at implementing his public promises.

In 2016, the Telangana police had lodged an FIR against online rummy website Ace2Three for allegedly duping players and manipulating their own software. The complaint was filed at the request of former Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Yennam Srinivas Reddy.

Presently, gaming comes under the Telangana Gaming Act to mean playing a card game for winnings or prizes or otherwise and includes playing a game of mutka or satta and wagering or betting.

If this proposal is indeed implemented, Telangana would be the first state in India to expressly categorise poker and rummy within the ambit of gambling. Presently however it is equivocal whether the state government has taken the final decision on the matter or is simply contemplating possible amendments in the law.