Kerala tourism, which receives ten million domestic tourists and one million foreign tourists annually, gives some lessons that can be learnt and followed by other states. The arrival of foreign tourists is increasing every year. In adherence to a tourist information officer of Kerala tourism, the Malabar Coast-based state does not need offshore casinos. However, the cabinet has recently taken a decision to consider bridge and poker under the banner of skill-based games.
Bordered by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Lakshadweep Sea, the Kerala state does not allow cross-massages in government-classified spas and clinics even if the state is the pioneer in the capitalisation on Ayurveda. It is not also a believer in having offshore casinos. Instead, the highly educated state aims at offering varied products to increase the inflow of tourists. In this agenda, the state has recently introduced nature-based soft adventure holiday program NATVENTURE. It is designed and developed to cover hill stations, wildlife, beaches, backwaters and adventure activities.
In 1967, the Government of Kerala had banned all private lotteries that were running in the state. And Kerala State Lotteries Program was inaugurated. Hence, a new department was introduced by the Finance Minister of the state, P. K. Kunju Sahib. Apart from entertainment, it was aiming for government fund collection and new employment. At present, the department is handling seven weekly lotteries. Here we go with the complete list.
|Serial Number||Lottery Name||Releasing Date|
|5||PRATHEEKSHA (Karunya Plus)||Thursday|
|7||NIRMALBHAGYANIDHI & NIRMAL||Friday|
Ticket price: Rs. 30, Rs. 40, Rs. 50, and Rs. 100
Number of lottery sellers in Kerala: 140000
Number of tickets printed every week: 3.90 Crore (nearly 70 lakh tickets every day)
Government annual turnover target from lotteries: 10,000 Crore
Lottery profits utilised for good causes: 1,200 Crore
Lottery revenues in Kerala in (2015 – 16 FY): Rs. 5696 Crore
If we do a lot of research and explore the inside picture, we come to know that the gambling in India is regulated by a central law called Gaming Act 1867. But yes, there are exceptions as some states do allow rummy and horse racing as games of skill. Every single game involves luck and skill, but the ratios are different for different games. When it comes to the game of skill, luck plays a minor role which is opposite in the case of a game of chance.
Kerala needs to acknowledge poker as a game of skill. All India Gaming Federation, which is working for the promotion of sporting and gaming activities, feels so. Games like rummy, darts, coin contests, and shooting contests are under the legalisation banner under the notification issued by the Kerala government, in 1976, under Section 14A. “Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Nalini Netto has promised to consider including poker on the list. States like Karnataka, West Bengal and Nagaland have acknowledged poker as a game. They have started to reap the benefit as poker leagues are being organised commonly,” the CEO of AIGFRoland Lander said. In fact, some of the poker game platforms have tied up with IITs in order to promote the skill-based games.
Driven by the Minimum Guaranteed Revenue model adopted by the state government, Mizoram is instrumental in running state lotteries in Kerala. Kerala State Finance Minister Thomas Isaac found it offensive and wrote to the Union Home Ministry to ban the lotteries conducted by the Mizoram Lottery in association with Teesta Distributors. According to him, the Mizoram State is illegally running lotteries. He also stated that the Kerala government had received an incomplete letter from the Mizoram lotteries. “As per the Lotteries (Regulation) Rules, the organising state should provide details about all the arrangements they have made for the conduct of lotteries in the host state. This letter, sent to the Chief Secretary, just mentions the name of the distributor and nothing more,” the minister added. Interestingly, several ticket buying conditions are there in Kerala that are getting initiated by the GST Act followed by the state.
Musthafa Moottatharammal, a 48-year-old driver of Chuzhali (Moonniyur), is the latest winner of the bumper prize. The lucky ticket which was bearing the AJ2876 number was sold by Poochengal Kunnath Khalid (lottery agent) of Aiswarya Lottery Agency in Parappananagdi Bus Stand. It won the first prize worth Rs 10 crore. “I started purchasing lottery tickets more than twenty years ago and I was hopeful that the Onam bumper ticket will bring prize this time”, Musthafa stated. He has handed over the winning ticket to the Parappanangadi (Malappuram) based Federal bank branch, at 2 pm.
Even though the consequences are negative and harmful, the urge to gamble continuously pushes the gamblers. It is not a good sign to attend gambling when it causes family problems, or it is beyond the affordable limit. It is widely known as problem gambling, gambling addiction, pathological gambling, gambling ludomania, or compulsive gambling. “Majority of the people addicted to gambling belongs to the upper middle class. The games are generally organised on the pretext of parties and they play with such high stakes that the total amount transacted over these card games will run into several lakhs,” official sources said. Multiple factors are there behind this addictive behaviour.
Kerala’s gambling addiction treatment centers offer numerous easy yet highly effective ways to deal with this problem. Some of these are cognitive-behavioral therapy (recommended to modify unhealthy gambling thoughts and behaviors), inpatient treatment programs (recommended for people with severe gambling addiction), marriage & credit counseling (recommended to those people who are facing through relationship and financial problems initiated by gambling), and the four steps program (recommended to change thoughts on gambling in four steps; i.e., re-label. Reattribute, refocus ad revalue).