Is Rummy Legal in India?
Rummy is one of the most popular card games in India and is enjoyed by a vast majority of people. In the past several years, online rummy has been subjected to various legal debates with some arguing that it is a game of skill and should be legal, while others argue that it is a game of chance and should be banned.
In this article, we will take a look at whether playing rummy is legal in India and understand the various laws and court rulings that have shaped the legal status of the game.
Laws and Supreme Court Rulings About Rummy
The Indian Contract Act of 1872 is the primary basis for arguing that the rummy game is illegal and should be banned. Section 30 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, states that “Agreements by way of wager are void, and no suit shall be brought for recovering anything alleged to be won on any wager, or entrusted to any person to abide by the result of any game or other uncertain event on which any wager is made.”
However, In 1968, the Supreme Court of India ruled that rummy is not just a game of luck but needs a substantial element of skill to play. The Supreme Court passed this judgment in the case of the State Of Andhra Pradesh vs K. Satyanarayana. The court stated that:
- Any game/competition where the outcome of success is dependent on a significant degree of skill is not gambling
- Though Rummy has an element of chance, it is predominantly a game of skill and thus, may be considered a game of ‘mere skill.’
So, the game of Rummy is not a game entirely of chance and players need skills to play it since the fall of the cards has to be memorised. Also, one needs significant skill in holding and discarding the cards.
Also, The Supreme Court of India in 1957 stated that competitions (cash and others) that involve significant skills are categorized as business activities which are protected under the Constitution of India Article 19(1)(g).
Game of Skill vs Chance: Is Rummy a Skill Game?
Game of skills can be defined as those games whose outcome or chance of success is primarily based on the skills of the player. These skill games are legal to play in India and as established from the various court rulings, rummy too is a game of skill and it does not come under the gambling or betting category.
On the other hand, a game of chance is a game whose outcome is determined by luck or chance.
Is Rummy Legal in All States of India?
No, not all states permit playing rummy to win money in India. Playing cash rummy games is not allowed in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, and Telangana.
So, Is Rummy Actually Legal in India?
Yes, rummy is legal in India, barring a few states. Several court rulings have stated that playing rummy to win money is legal. In addition, several states have framed laws to regulate the game of rummy online, thus, solidifying the legal status of the game. Most rummy apps like Gamezy have secure, fast and optimized platforms for rummy enthusiasts to play the game and win money.
FAQs on Legality of Rummy in India
Is Playing Online Rummy Games Legal in India?
Yes, playing rummy games online is legal in India, barring a few states.
Is Rummy Legal in Andhra Pradesh?
No, the state government of Andhra Pradesh does not permit online rummy games for real money.
Is Rummy Legal in Karnataka?
Yes, playing online cash rummy games is legal in Karnataka. The Karnataka High Court had quashed the state government’s ban and declared the 2021 Amendment Act unconstitutional, saying there cannot be any ban on online games of skill.
Is Rummy Legal in Telangana?
The state law of Telangana does not allow online cash rummy games and thus, real money rummy games cannot be played in Telangana.
Is Rummy Legal in Tamil Nadu?
As of now, the Tamil Nadu government has prohibited online cash rummy games. So, users in Tamil Nadu cannot play online rummy for real money now.