Is cash gaming legal in India?
Gambling or gaming in India was originally regulated by the Public Gambling Act, 1867, which is the central law on gambling presently, the power to legislate lies exclusively within the State Legislature. Under this power, most states in India have passed enactments of laws.
It is to be noted that, while the Central Gambling Act and all the State Gaming Acts provide for an exemption like Saving of Games of Skill, and substantially state that "nothing in this Act shall apply to games of mere skill wherever played".
Rummy has been declared to be a game of skill or mere skill by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India vide various Judgments. Games of skill or mere skill are excluded from the applicability of Indian Gaming Laws, which prohibits only betting and gambling in all Indian states except for a few ('Betting and Gambling' being a state subject under the Constitution of India).
Is it legal to play online card games for cash on Rummyglee.com?
Yes, it is legal to play card games for cash on Rummyglee.com.
It is legal because card games (such as rummy and poker) are skill-based games in India and are protected under the relevant scope of Article 19(g) of the Constitution of India. Not only this, playing card games for cash or otherwise comes under the gamut of business activity because it is a skill-based endeavor.
In 1968, (Hon.) Supreme Court of India specifically ruled that card games are skill-based games that rely on several core concepts of Mathematics and Game Theory. Fifty years on, India has come to terms with this welcome decision and several enthusiasts are taking to this game to enhance their skills.
- In a boost to the aforementioned landmark decision, the Supreme Court of India later observed that:
- 1.A competition where success depends on a significant degree of skill cannot be termed as ‘gambling.’
- 2.While there may be an element of chance involved in the game, card games are largely a game of skill and thus may be called a game of ‘mere skill’.
Games of Skill
The PGA distinguishes between betting on a “game of chance” and staking on a “game of skill” by expressly exempting “games of skill” from its penal provisions against gambling. Most state gambling legislation aligns with the PGA and similarly exempts games where the outcome is predominantly based on skill.
Thus, it can be concluded that Indian laws, in general, differentiate between games of skill and games of chance and specify a strict prohibition on participation and offer of games of chance for stakes, while taking a more favorable position with games of skill. In this regard, it may be noted that the Supreme Court of India, in one of its verdicts in 1996, concluded that “games involving a ‘substantial or preponderant’ degree of skill would amount to games of ‘mere skill’ ”.
Further, the West Bengal Gambling and Prize Competition Act, 1957, expressly excludes bridge, poker, rummy, and nap from the definition of gaming or gambling.
Therefore, by placing reliance on exemption of the game of poker from the definition of gambling in West Bengal and decisions of the Supreme Court of India, it can be concluded that playing poker and other similar skill-based card games for the legitimate forms of consideration would be permitted due to the overt element of skill involved in these games.
Please note that the scope of state laws in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Odisha, Sikkim, Telangana do not permit the playing of ‘games of skill’ for money (“Excluded States”).
If any User residing in the Excluded States is found to be participating in any Real Money Games on the Platform or registers by giving false information, the User will be solely liable in such instance and the Company reserves the right to terminate the User Account without any further notice and refund and/or block any unused funds credited into such User’s account. In the event of such breach, the Company also reserves the right to forfeit any winnings or Bonus Amounts, as the case may be. The Company or the Platform operated by the Company will not be liable for Users' breach of applicable state laws.
Online card games on the Rummy glee platform involve an element of financial risk and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk.