Kerala bans online rummy citing gambling addiction

Online rummy game
Representational image: kunal rathod/Shutterstock

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala Government has banned online rummy by amending the Kerala Gaming Act.

The Kerala High Court had directed the government last week to take decision on bringing online gambling and online betting within the purview of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960. The government as asked to take a decision within two weeks time, the Live Law reported.

The HC had issued a notice to Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, actors Thammanna and Aju Vargheese in January on a petition seeking ban on online rummy after victims alleged brand ambassadors play a significant role in getting youth addicted.

Kohli, Thamanna and Varghese are brand ambassadors of online rummy and hence the notice.

The high court had also issued notices to the state government then and called for its response on the same.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Thrissur native Pauly Vadakkan.

The petitioner had complained to the high court that several people have lost their lives in the country after losing huge amounts of money by playing the online game and that it should be banned.

Vineeth, 27, a Thiruvananthapuram native, who had lost Rs 21 lakh after playing rummy online, had committed suicide few weeks ago.

A government official, who had swindled Rs 2 crore from the Thiruvananthapuram District Collector’s official account to his and his spouse’s personal accounts last year, was also found to have been addicted to playing online rummy. M R Bijulal, the suspended senior accountant, had lost many lakhs and he was desperately trying to regain lost cash by playing more. For this, he required money.

The main accused in the notorious Kottayam-Thazhathangadi couple murder case, Muhammed Bilal, was also addicted to online gambling. The 23-year-old allegedly fatally attacked Thazhathangadi native M A Abdul Sali, 65, and his wife Sheeba Sali, 55, after a robbery bid went awry last year. According to the police, Bilal had lost huge amounts after playing rummy.

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