Online rummy is coming under fire in the state of Andhra Pradesh after CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna wrote to chief minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy seeking a ban on the popular online game.
Opponents of online rummy have long argued that too many users are playing irresponsibly online and losing large amounts of money which in turns puts financial pressure on families.
Ramakrishna highlighted the recent case of Gundra Ravi Teja, who had been working as a chief cashier at the Panjab National Bank's Nuziveedu branch.
Over the past year, Teja transferred Rs. 1.56 crores from customer's accounts to his account to feed his online rummy addiction. The police are investigating.
In response, The Rummy Federation (TRF), which counts many of the leading online platforms in its group, said the federation has strong self-regulation that meets global gaming standards.
This includes a no-minor policy, help and support for players identified as potentially having a gaming problem, daily and monthly deposit limits, and the option to self-exclude (ban oneself) from sites.
Ace2three, Junglee Rummy, Rummy Circle, and Rummy Passion are four well-known members of the TRF. The CEO of the TRF, Sameer Barde, said: "Online rummy is a rapidly growing industry with new players joining every day and several emerging operators. With the growing number of players and operators, the online rummy system has become quite robust."
This is not the first time calls for a ban on online rummy in Andhra Pradesh have been made. In June 2019, similar criticisms of the pastime were made by leading state figures. There was speculation back then that the state would follow Telangana and ban it.
In April, we reported on how online rummy in Andhra Pradesh had surged amidst the coronavirus lockdown and with illegal gambling dens shut down.