Playing Rummy Online - is it Legal?
In India, playing Rummy games is legal.
The Indian Supreme Court has declared the game of Rummy as a game of skill. Games of skill are unlike gambling, which are games of chance. In 1996, the Indian Supreme Court clearly defined gambling as betting and wagering on games of chance only. This judgement by The Supreme Court explicitly excludes games of skill, irrespective of whether they are played for money or not, from the definition of gambling. We quote this 1996 judgment:
"The expression 'gaming' in the two Acts has to be interpreted in the light of the law laid-down by this Court in the two 1957 cases, wherein it has been authoritatively held that a competition which substantially depends on skill is not gambling. Gaming is the act or practice of gambling on a game of chance. It is staking on chance where chance is the controlling factor. 'Gaming' in the two Acts would, therefore, mean wagering or betting on games of chance. It would not include games of skill like horse racing"
The following is the 1968 Supreme Court ruling which declared rummy to be a game of skill:
"Rummy, on the other hand, requires certain amount of skill because the fall of the cards has to be memorised and the building up of Rummy requires considerable skill in holding and discarding cards. We cannot, therefore, say that the game of Rummy is a game of entire chance. It is mainly and preponderantly a game of skill. The chance in Rummy is of the same character as the chance in a deal at a game of bridge."
In 1996, the Supreme Court further stated
"A game of skill, on the other hand - although the element of chance necessarily cannot be entirely eliminated --is one in which success depends principally upon the superior knowledge, training, attention, experience and adroitness of the player. Golf, chess and even Rummy are considered to be games of skill. The Courts have reasoned that there are few games, if any, which consist purely of chance or skill, and as such a game of chance is one in which the element of chance predominates over the element of skill, and a game of skill is one in which the element of skill predominates over the element of chance. It is the dominant element --"skill" or "chance" -- which determines the character of the game."
In addition to the Supreme Court rulings, it should be noted that under the Constitution of India, ‘Betting and Gambling’ is a state subject and hence games of skill or mere skill are outside the purview of the applicability of Indian laws prohibiting betting and gambling in all Indian states except a few. Since the legality at the time of this writing is unclear in the states of Assam and Odisha, 1toking.com does not accept players who reside in these two states.
1toking.com offers legal Rummy games for cash residents of all states in India, except Assam and Odisha.