Is Playing Rummy Games Legal?

Is Playing Rummy Games Legal?

Playing cards for entertainment is a widespread phenomenon, and in India, playing cards in one’s free time or on special occasions is quite popular. Rummy is without a doubt the card game that is played the most in India. It is said to have originated in Spain and is the most renowned card game. The introduction of online rummy has greatly increased its popularity. Online rummy, which provides a competitive and much broader arena where the whole world is converted into a platform where players from all over the world can play rummy, has become a reality in today’s world thanks to the development of the rapidly growing technology.

Players now can enjoy playing rummy online while relaxing in the coziness of their own homes. Currently, well-known rummy platforms are providing a whole new realm of delightful experiences with alluring offers, promotions, cash prizes, a competitive vibe with the arrival of new gamers from all over the globe, and many more intriguing possibilities to pick from. However, rummy has generated a lot of controversies since it is also a game of probability. Rummy is still often referred to as a wagering game, despite the Supreme Court’s declaration that it is a “game of skill” in which players must use intellectual talent to win. 

Understanding the concept of skill-based games

Understanding the difference between a game of skill and a game of fate is necessary. It is important to note that the “game of skill” is not included under the Public Act of 1867. A “game of skill” is a game where the outcome is mostly based on physical or mental skill as opposed to fate. A game of fate, however, is one where the result is heavily influenced by a randomizing mechanism, such as a set of spinning tops, playing cards, dice, roulette wheels, or balls with numbers pulled from a bowl. Even while talent may play a little part in a game of fate, fortune is crucial in deciding the outcome. While there may be some element of coincidence in a game of skill, talent is what ultimately determines how it will turn out.

The legality of online rummy

Rummy has been questioned as to whether it is lawful since it is sometimes equated with fortune-based games like Poker. It should be emphasized, nevertheless, that the game now has legal standing thanks to the Honorable Supreme Court. Rummy is a “game of skill” and not fate, according to the Supreme Court. Therefore, playing rummy online to win real cash is lawful. Relevantly, the fact that rummy is a skill-based game that is protected by the Indian Constitution makes it legitimate. Rummy is a game of skill, and playing it for money is considered a professional activity from a legal perspective. This activity is protected by Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.

Since there are no national laws that prohibit cash gaming in India. Even the Public Gaming Act of 1867 only imposes fines; it does not outright forbid gaming or wagering. Rummy or other wagering games are only permitted in a few states of India. Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, there are several states with state laws that prohibit playing online rummy for real cash. These states include Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Assam, and Andhra Pradesh.

Supreme Court’s ruling on the legality of rummy

Platforms and online rummy providers filed several appeals to overturn a Madras High Court ruling from March 2012 that deemed playing rummy for money to be unlawful gaming. The current situation was brought to the court’s attention by a group located in Chennai called Mahalakshmi Cultural Association. A panel of judges led by Justices Madan B. Lokur and S. A. Bobde heard many petitions and rendered a decision on the current case on August 18, 2015, which was a relief for die-hard rummy players. The supreme court decided against challenging the long-established legal doctrine that participating in a game of skill for money does not constitute wagering.

A Rummy card game is a game of skill, according to a judgment made by the Supreme Court of India earlier in 1968. This verdict served as the foundation for many future rulings. In a later decision from that year, the Supreme Court declared the following:

Even if there is a component of coincidence, competitions where winning relies on a high degree of talent are not considered “wagering.” If a game is primarily a game of skill, it may be referred to as a game of “mere skill.”

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