bySonu SinghalMarch 26, 2021

3 minutes

The game 'Rummy' has become tremendously popular not just in India but across the globe. The physical Rummy card game has been played since time immemorial in India. It is one of the oldest games played, both in cities and villages in India. Previously, Rummy was played in villages during festivals when the entire family used to get together and form a strong bond.

With the advancement in technology, the Rummy game's physical version has paved the way for the online version. Using various online Rummy platforms, players worldwide can compete against each other without any geographical constraints.

While many people believe that Rummy is a game of luck or chance, this is not true. Rummy is a game of skills. It keeps the brain tuned to take the correct decision and to create the proper sequences and patterns. Even several Indian courts have declared that rummy is a skill game and can be played with real money. Consider it to be a legal game where an individual can win money that is legitimate. 

According to a statistic, out of every 10 card game players, 4 prefer playing Rummy.

Telangana was the first Indian state to ban the Rummy card game in the year 2017. Just as people enjoyed playing the online Rummy game and the organizers were doing well, the Andhra Pradesh Government, on 3rd September 2020, decided to impose a ban on online games like Rummy and Poker. The primary purpose of this ban is to prevent the youth from getting addicted to playing online games. The State Government of Andhra Pradesh plans to amend the AP Gaming Act, 1974. As per this amendment, both organizers and players would be barred from online games in Andhra Pradesh. There will be several legal implications if anyone is found violating the act.

Following Andhra Pradesh, the Tamil Nadu state government passed an ordinance to ban Rummy and Poker on 20th November 2020.

The decision to ban online Rummy comes after several years of consideration. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the three southern states that have imposed a complete ban on online Rummy. These southern states have a large online Rummy player base.

The ban imposed by the three southern states in India is a considerable loss to the Rummy organizers. This ban means a step backwards in the online gaming industry in India. This is a setback for businesses as well as players from these states in the online gaming industry.

Considering the lucrative investments seen in the Rummy gaming apps and portals, an outright ban on online games such as Rummy and Poker is uncalled for and not advisable. In 2015, a Supreme Court judgement stated that Rummy is a skill game and not by chance. A similar verdict was also passed in 1957, which mentioned the difference between games that involve skills and the ones that involve luck by chance. Considering this, the ban on Rummy in some states looks too harsh.

A blanket ban on Rummy games in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Telangana could have a cascading effect on the other Indian states. This may result in a complete shutdown of the online gaming industry and games like Rummy and Poker that people love.

The Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu state government's decision recently has left the entire industry in the doldrums, and the future looks bleak. A complete ban on Rummy means it would not make any sense for the Rummy organizers and developers to create any new Rummy platform for the Indian Market. This surprise decision on banning Rummy altogether in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu just a couple of months back and Telangana previously would have enormous ramifications for the online skill-based gaming industry. The Government would also lose out on revenue in the form of taxes. The online skill gaming industry generates a lot of employment opportunities too. This move would leave many without jobs.

There was a need for strict regulations and policies to be brought into the online gaming industry rather than a complete ban on skill-based games such as Rummy.

However, as the famous saying goes - There is always light at the end of the tunnel. Apart from these three states in India, Rummy is widely popular and played by other gamers both in India and globally. Although the three Indian states' ban may be a temporary pause, there are ample opportunities and scope for starting a new Rummy game, especially in the states where Rummy is still going strong. Only a few players are playing rummy from these 3 states. Players from other states and countries are still the main strength of the rummy playing community. So, business opportunities are still there.