Is the fantasy Rummy cash game ban on the cards?

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Rummy cash game, one of the best-known card games worldwide, when played with cash, makes it more engaging for rummy lovers. The easy availability of plenty of rummy apps online has even more popularized the game among the youth, playing both offline and online.

Rummy is both a brain game and a mind game. It stimulates the thinking part of the brain. It requires strategizing, decision-making, and skills. The game dates back over 1000 years of card playing history.

Playing rummy is legal as per the honorable supreme court’s verdict in 1968, 100% legal to play it free or with cash in most parts of the Indian subcontinent. You must be of 18 years or higher. However, the game is habit-forming and entails financial risk, so play it mindfully and responsibly.

Tamil Nadu’s Ban on Online Rummy Cash Games

Recently Tamil Nadu Government has banned online rummy in the state. Online companies challenged the decision of the present Tamil Nadu Government to impose a ban on online rummy in the entire state and called for an urgent hearing.

DMK, in power, formed a committee to evaluate the effects of online rummy on society. The committee’s recommendations prompted the government to ban online rummy. On October 2022, the Tamil Nadu Government passed the bill, which the governor received for approval.

The ban came into effect with the government’s effort to stall the deaths and prevent families from getting impoverished. On the request to delay the ban, the supreme court declined it and refused to put a stay on the TN government’s decision, which is good for society.

Fantasy sports companies moved to the court.

Companies that moved against the decision did not get any interim relief from the court. Although, the court directed the government to address the pleas moved by the online fantasy sports companies. The mainstay of the advocate representing the state against the appeal stated the honorable court must clear its stand between the private companies’ money- and profit-making interest and societal benefit in the interest of the families in Tamil Nadu who took the beating.

State advocate’s counter on the plea

Advocate Kapil Sibal, representing the state, further added that the court must work towards the cause for the commoners of the state. The court should protect the people from getting financially wrecked because of losing money in the game. He added that the Union government showed no legislative competence to curb wagering and betting.

Companies Advocate’s Counter on State’s Stand

Advocate Abhishek Singhvi, representing the companies, contended the inability of the state to bring the legislation. The government-tabled act is illegal and misrepresents the spirit of rummy. In the last 70 years in the jurisprudence of India, courts have reiterated that rummy is not gambling. It is a game based on skill and judgment. State knowing the previous court judgments cannot ban the game and spark a new conflict of interest.

On rummy creating a social menace, Singhvi added, the state cannot blame rummy for all the social evils in which even the government plays a role. States claim on the questionable transparency of the online rummy providers, Singhvi emphasizing the algorithm-based computerization of the game, making it more transparent and regulated than the offline rummy. The online rummy ensures a level playing for all users.

It is not the first-time governments attempted to ban rummy, citing various reasons. This time poverty is the reason, as opposed to suicide before.

Final thoughts

Companies stood by their claims that the Rummy cash game is a game of intelligence and competition that entails significant skill levels and decision-making. Many court judgments passed earlier favored online rummy, considering it outside the ambit of betting or gambling.

Based on the questionable competence of the state government’s legislative committee to adopt a law, the Tamil Nadu Government has returned the bill intending to prohibit online gaming regulating online gaming.

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