Indian state Gujarat is famous for calcite, gypsum, manganese, lignite, bauxite, limestone, agate, feldspar, quartz sand, and power plants. We all know that the selling of alcohol is strictly banned in Gujarat, but not all of us are familiar with the availability and movement of gambling in this industrially-rich state. Positioned on the West coast of India, the land of Mahatma Gandhi does not carry a straightforward definition of gambling. On the opposite side, gaming remains enormously prevalent across the state. Here are the gambling laws in Gujarat.
The Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Law and Act, 1887
Gaming includes betting or wagering, except betting upon a dog race or a horse-race. As per The Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887, common gaming house in the case of gaming means on the market price of cotton, opium or other commodity or on the digits of the number used in stating such price, or on the amount of variation in the market price of any such goods or on the digits of the number used in stating the amount of such difference, or on the market price of any stock or share or on the digits of the number used in stating such price. It says the instruments of gaming include a device or article which is used to be a subject or means of gaming.
Needless to say, poker is an illegal game in the state of Gujarat. On Nov. 9, 2017, Justice Sonia Gokani sought government’s reply about the legal aspects of the popular card game. She did it while hearing a petition filed by Indian Poker Association secretary KN Suresh and advocate Maulin Pandya. As per this claim, IPA has initiated an agreement with YMCA Club to produce poker players who can represent India at international tournaments. IPA cited a state law in this petition; it said: “Since poker is not gambling, it is not under the ambit of the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1987. The expression ‘Poker’ does not form part of ‘gaming or gambling’.” At last, city police restrained the association from holding poker games at the YMCA International Club in Ahmedabad with a seven-table poker room. Advocate Pandya claimed that the poker game is played online without taking any permission from the government. IPA secretary KN Suresh said: “We are looking at opening up poker rooms all across the country with at least eight new cities in the pipeline before March 2017. Chandigarh and Ludhiana in Punjab, Jaipur in Rajasthan, Pune, Varanasi, Gurgaon, Nagpur, Surat, & Baroda are all cities we intend to open poker rooms in very soon”.
Illegal casino raided
In adherence to gambling laws in Gujarat, when any gaming instrument is seized in any room or house entered, it is defined as illegal. Under this law, Central Crime Branch (CCB) police from Bangalore busted an illegal mobile casino racket in 2014. The police have arrested 61 persons, seventy mobiles, 1977 gambling tokens, ganja packets, and whiskey bottles. Among the 61, 59 persons including the chief organizer, Dinesh Shah, were from Gujarat. They were brought to Bangalore on a three-night & two-day gambling package.
IPL betting laws
Police had arrested three cricketers under the gambling laws in India associated with Indian Premier League – S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan – from the Landmark Hotel in Kanpur. This hotel had hosted the Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions teams in the Premier League. Five mobile phones and Rs 40.90 lakh in cash were seized in operation done under the supervision of Kanpur’s superintendent of police, Akash Kulhari. As per an article published in Hindustan Times, police department was also looking into questioning two suspected bookies from Gujarat Lions team.
Baadshah restricted players from Gujarat
Baadshah Gaming, the first online skill-gaming website in Gujarat has stopped accepting players from the state for its real-money online poker games. It is backed by the Pride Group of casinos. The declaration; i.e., poker is a game of chance, came into existence on December 4, 2017. This website has raised a notice on its poker games page. The announcement, which states that the poker players from Gujarat are not allowed to play poker, further requested players residing and accessing the website in Gujarat to not play poker on their platform. CEO Madhav Gupta said while commenting on the decision, “We at Baadshah Gaming will continue to abide by the rules of the land. Since the latest order from the Gujarat High Court, we have suspended poker operations in the state.”
Poker and Rummy are Games of Skill
Gujarat High Court has asked to rule the poker, rummy, nap, and bridge game as the games of skill. Its verdict on the legality of poker deferred on November 30, 2017, is considered as one of the biggest milestones in the history of gambling. However, numbers of locations are there in the state of Gujarati-speaking people which are currently organizing poker games in private clubs.