| On Updated : May 5, 2020 12:34 PM IST

What prohibits Poker in Assam, Gujarat, Telangana and Odisha

By Dheeraj Singh

With the boom in online gaming, many platforms offer card games like Rummy and Poker with an option to play with real money across India. However, these platforms are not operational in Gujarat, Telangana, Odisha and Assam due to amended State laws. The state laws in these jurisdictions do not create an exception for games of skill. Hence, the residents of Assam, Odisha, Telangana and Gujarat are prohibited from playing online poker or any game which includes betting.

Let’s have a quick look at the Gambling laws in these states-

Gujarat {High Court Judgment in 2017}

Gujarat High Court’s recent order dated December 4, 2017 states Poker a ‘game of chance’. This decision came in the case hearing of Dominance Games Pvt. Ltd. V. State of Gujarat.

The debate ‘whether Poker is a game of skill or a game of chance’ was never held in so much depth by any of the Indian courts. After looking at the complete mechanism of the game, Gujarat High Court concluded that Poker is a game of chance as there is no certainty or control on the distribution of the cards. The court also said that Poker originated from “Flush” or “Teen Patti” which comes under the game of chance by Supreme Court’s 1968 judgment.

As per Gujarat High Court, Poker is a ‘game of chance’ and therefore amounts to gambling under Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.

Telangana {Telangana State Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance}

The Telangana Gaming Act 1974 was recently amended to remove the exception for games of skill from the Act. The Telangana State Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance or Act is currently under challenge before the High Court of Hyderabad. So, even the games of skills are not permitted in Telangana.

Assam & Odisha

Assam Game and Betting Act 1970 and Orissa Prevention of Gaming Act 1955 do not create an exception for games of skills, i.e. both the states forbid any games in which a person bets with the money.

The Assam Act forbids staking of money or money worth on the result of an unascertained event, thing or contingency for or concerning any game or sport etc.

Similarly, the Odisha Act does not allow any play or game for money or other stakes. The Act does not permits betting and wagering or game and scheme by which a person intentionally exposes cash or things of value to the risk or hazard of loss by chance.

In simple terms, it is illegal to play such games in both these states. And, it is also unlawful to conduct any business venture allowing participants to play such games stakes in these two states.

Dheeraj Singh

I believe Life and Poker work on the same principle. The more you learn the better you become.