Kerala HC refuses to stay ban on online rummy

Online rummy game
Representational image: kunal rathod/Shutterstock

Kochi: A few online gaming companies on Thursday got a jolt when the Kerala High Court refused to stay the state government's earlier notification banning online rummy games.

The February 23 notification under Section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960 clarifies that online rummy when played for stakes does not enjoy exemption from the general prohibition of gaming and gambling.

A few online gaming companies had sought a stay on the Kerala Government's order, but failed to get it.

The Court however asked the Kerala Government to file its statement and posted the case for May 29.

Kerala was forced to ban these online games after complaints of people losing money surfaced. Neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu besides Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had banned them earlier.

Incidentally in August last year, a Kerala government official working in the State Treasury department was taken into custody after it was alleged that he had siphoned off Rs 2 crore and was engaged in playing online games. 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.

Vineeth, 27, a Thiruvananthapuram native, who had lost Rs 21 lakh after playing rummy online, had committed suicide early this year.

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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