A group representing India’s poker players has filed a petition against the Gujarat state government for allegedly siccing cops on its card games.
On Tuesday, the Indian Poker Association (IPA) filed papers with the Gujarat High Court accusing the state government of authorizing law enforcement agencies to break up an IPA-hosted poker game at a local YCMA club in the state’s largest city Ahmedabad.
The IPA launched a seven-table poker space at the YMCA on October 5 and, in keeping with local tradition, alerted the authorities in advance of their plans. Assuming no money is being wagered, the organizers need not apply for a ‘no objection certificate’ (NOC) from the authorities.
Yet IPA leader KN Suresh claimed the police summoned him to their HQ and ordered him not to proceed with his poker plans, threatening “dire consequences” if he failed to heed their warnings. When he refused to observe these warnings, the police raided the YMCA and prevented any shuffling up and/or dealing.
The Times of India reported that the IPA has asked the High Court to declare the action by police and municipal authorities to be illegal and arbitrary. The IPA claims that police have failed to move against other private clubs offering card games like rummy.
The IPA is also asking the High Court to confirm that, as a game of skill similar to rummy, poker doesn’t meet the definition of ‘gaming or gambling’ contained in the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1987.
Gujarat’s High Court has previously dismissed charges brought against clubs in which rummy was played based on the skill game designation that rummy has been granted. Elsewhere, High Courts in Karnataka and Kolkata have ruled that clubs offering poker played as a game of skill didn’t require licenses.
THE COMMERCIAL MADE HIM DO IT
Meanwhile, an activist in the state of Tamil Nadu has asked police to charge a pair of actors for promoting gambling based on their appearance in a TV advert for an online rummy site.
On Tuesday, a complaint was filed regarding a commercial (viewable below) for Jungleerummy.com that features actors Prakash Raj and Rana Daggubati. The site is run by Junglee Games, a software outfit that was one of the petitioners in the 2015 India Supreme Court ruling that declined to label online rummy as gambling.
The complainant said the commercial led him to do some exploring online, where he was shocked – shocked! – to discover that Jungleerummy wasn’t the only rummy site “promoting rummy and making people bet money.” That’s right: making them bet. Sorta like how those Vagisil commercials always make my vagina itch.