Over the weekend, the Telangana Cabinet issued the fresh decree amending the Telangana State Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, which was issued several weeks ago, GLaws.In reported.
The Telangana State Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 added new definition of “cyber space” in the gaming legislation, making betting and gambling through the internet illegal, which means that playing online matka, sports betting, poker and rummy in the state will now incur criminal penalties.
The new ordinance added the words “online gaming with stakes” to the definition of gaming as well as the general description of the term “gaming,” which now states “that any act of risking money or otherwise on the result of an unknown event including on a game of skill falls within the definition of betting and wagering,” according to the report.
It also deleted Section 15 of the state’s Gaming Act of 1974, which exempts ‘games of skill’ from the ambit of gambling, and replaced it with a new provision authorizing the Telangana government “to issue an order within two years from the date of issue of the Ordinance to remove difficulties in implementation of the Gaming Act.”
The news of a new amendment to the gaming ordinance comes several weeks after online rummy sites Ace2Three, Rummycircle and Junglee Rummy filed petitions before the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana High Court, which stated that the unconstitutional ordinance violates the sites’ “fundamental right to carry out trade and commerce.”
The Telangana government, however, argued that “many sections of the society were getting affected” because of the ease of access to online rummy, adding that “playing rummy has become a threat to public order.”
Due to this new development, Ace2Three, Rummycircle and Junglee Rummy will have to either withdraw their petitions or amend it because their original challenge—that the ordinance classifies rummy as a game of chance—no longer exists.