Kerala to bring a law to curb online rummy: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that a legislative amendment is under consideration to regulate online gaming such as rummy. The Kerala High Court last year had struck down a rummy ban notification as unconstitutional.

Many people are taking their lives after losing lakhs of money through online gaming, CM Pinarayi Vijayan said in the Assembly.

In July, we reported that the Kerala Home department has handed over the recommendation filed by State Police Chief Anil Kanth to the Department of Law. The response was that the Government can go ahead with the amendment.

“The Kerala Gaming Act of 1960 was amended in February 2021 to ban online rummy. But the Kerala High Court order quashed the said amendment acting on writ petitions filed by gaming companies. The appeal filed by the government is pending before the high court,” CM Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement.

“Online gaming sites make it easy for anyone of any age, including children, to open an account for free. People are being offered big prize money. The practice of gaming companies is to first offer free games and then enslave them to gamble. The admins of the gaming sites will constantly monitor the game and motivate people to play more. Later, people will fall into a situation where they cannot escape from the pitfalls. There is no clarity as to who is playing on the opposite side. Information is coming out that the game is being controlled by Artificial Intelligence-based programs on the opposite side,” the CM was quoted as saying..

Nieghbouring Tamil Nadu has recently constituted a committee which recommended a ban on online rummy. It was reported that the  Tamil Nadu cabinet was unanimous on banning online rummy. Currently, the decisions by Karnataka and Madras High Courts quashing online gaming ban laws are under challenge before the Supreme Court.