Rummy is one of the most popular online games not just in India but across the world. In India, rummy is one of the most common games that has been played by every household. Indian rummy is a variation of a rummy game that includes valid sets out of 13 cards that are spread out to every player on the table. People not just play rummy to keep themselves engaged but to upgrade their skills. Earlier, rummy used to play physically but nowadays due to the existence of technology and online gaming, the game has moved to online.
Today, there are online rummy cash games like Rummy Gold, Ultimate Rummy, Play Rummy Card, Indian Rummy Card and others, where you can play and win the cash reward. Online rummy games organize several tournaments and experts will participate in order to win exciting cash prizes. However, the most important question people even ask today is whether Rummy is legal in India or not. Yes, the Rummy Game is legal in India.
The Supreme Court of India declared the verdict in 1967 by stating that Rummy is the game of skill. Rummy is a game that requires substantial skills in order to memorize the cards, assembling sets and sequences, holding and disposing of cards while considering your opponent’s possible move. Being a skilled-based game, Rummy is safeguarded by the Constitution of India as a legal form of business interest or an activity of playing a game, online or offline, with cash under Article 19 (1)
Statement by Supreme Court of India in their verdict while legalizing Rummy:
“Rummy, on the other hand, requires a certain amount of skill because the fall of the cards has to be memorized, and the building up of Rummy requires considerable skill in holding and discarding cards. We cannot, therefore, say that the game of Rummy is a game of entire chance. It is mainly and predominantly a game of skill. The chance in Rummy is of the same character as the chance in a deal at a game of bridge.”
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GAME OF SKILL AND GAMBLING
As we already know that Rummy is not merely a game but a game of skills, where the players utilize their mental abilities to get the better of their opponents. However, games of skill like Rummy are often compared to gambling. One needs to understand the difference between a game of skill and gambling. Playing a game wherein the result is entirely dependent on chance instead of skills then it is called gambling.
The Supreme Court of India has clearly defined that gambling is betting and a game of chances, which doesn’t include skills like rummy. In 1996, India’s top court had declared the judgment by differentiating gambling as betting and a game of skills. They stated:
“The expression ‘gaming’ in the two Acts has to be interpreted in the light of the law laid down by this Court in the two 1957 cases, wherein it has been authoritatively held that a competition which substantially depends on skill is not gambling. Gaming is the act or practice of gambling on games of chance. It is staking on chance where chance is the controlling factor. ‘Gaming’ in the two Acts would, therefore, mean wagering or betting on games of chance. It would not include games of skill like horse racing.”
The Supreme Court had emphasized that ‘Game of Skill’ requires a great amount of skill to achieve success. The game of skill is a game wherein your result or outcome will be decided based on your mental and physical abilities instead of chance. The skills include knowledge, prowess, mind focus and experience. Therefore, it is clear that skilled-based games don’t include gambling.
Notwithstanding the declaration of the 1996 verdict by the Supreme Court of India, legalizing rummy as a game of skill, there is a concern over the legitimacy of a game of skills in some of the states in India. The state laws of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Telangana, Odisha, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Nagaland, do not grant people or players to play online rummy cash as it is considered illegal in these states. If anybody found playing online rummy, then it would go against their law and might imply a heavy penalty or fine.
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