22 Jul 2019 Jonas Lemberg

Kerala HC rummy & Gujarat HC poker matters adjourned once again

Judge Hammer

Last week saw adjournments in key matters relating to the legality of rummy and poker by the Kerala and Gujarat High Courts respectively, leading to possibility of a further delay of at least a few more months on clarity regarding the legality of skill games played for stakes.

A division bench of the Kerala High Court while hearing a clutch of review petitions on Friday 19th July, filed by online rummy websites Ace2Three, RummyCircle and Junglee Rummy adjourned the matter by another two weeks. The matter is now scheduled to be heard on 6th August, 2019.

The adjournment was granted by a bench comprising of Justices AM Shaffique and N. Anil Kumar at the request of the state government, which sought more time for coming up with a response to the online rummy companies’ contentions.

In April this year, RummyCircle (followed by other rummy websites) had filed a review petition against a January 2019 order of a division bench of the High Court which held that playing the game of rummy for stakes or wagering on it is not just an innocent pastime but amounts to the offence of gaming under the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960.

Meanwhile a division bench of the Gujarat High Court also did not take up the appeal against a single judge’s 2017 order ruling poker to be a game of chance and falling within the ambit of gambling.

A division bench of the court comprising of Acting Chief Justice Anant S. Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav was supposed to hear the appeal filed by Indian Poker Association Secretary KN Suresh, Dominance Games Private Limited, Aman Chhabra and Hotel Ramada, Ahmedabad on 18th June and then again on 19th July.

The court however could not take up the matter on both occasions and the hearing for the case has now been adjourned for about two months. As per the Gujarat High Court website, the matter will now be listed for hearing again in about two months from now, on 16th September, 2019.

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