The Kerala State Government has amended the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 to ban online rummy. The ban is in immediate effect.
On February 15th, as reported by Live Law, the Kerala High Court (HC) directed the state government to take a decision on bringing online gaming and betting under the purview of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 within a period of two weeks. The direction from the high court came as a result of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by film director Pauly Vadakkan who seeked action against online portals that promote online rummy and gambling.
The state government had recently informed that court that it will revoke the exemption given to online rummy through a provision in the state’s gaming act.
The Kerala HC had also issued notices to the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, besides actors Thammanna and Aju Vargheese, last month, in response to the PIL claiming that brand ambassadors contribute to the rising online gambling addiction.
In his PIL, Vadakkan also complained that many people have lost a lot of money due to their addiction to the online game, which led to loss of many lives, as well.
A 29 year old man took his own life in Thiruvananthapuram last month as he could not pay debt incurred due to his addiction to online gambling.
Recently, the Karnataka High Court also directed the Karnataka State Government to take a stance in the matter of banning online gambling and betting, to which the state responded by noting that it will bring legislation to regulate online gambling and betting in the state.
The stage was set by a bold legislation to ban online betting by the Tamil Nadu State Government that passed a bill in the state assembly stating that any individual violating the ban will face imprisonment upto two years or with fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees.
Andhra Pradesh also banned online gambling games like rummy, poker, fantasy sports in September last year.