Gujarat High Court finally gave its verdict, and it says that poker is a game of luck. As a game of chance falls under the category of gambling, it cannot be allowed in city clubs. In their last verdict in mid-November, the same decision was given away by the Gujarat High Court. According to the Prevention Of Gambling Act, 1887 states that under this act, it is said that “gaming” which involves all sorts of wagering or betting other than wagering or betting upon a horse-race, or dog race, is banned in the state.
Putting an end to the long-running controversy, that the game of poker is gambling and hence cannot be permitted. Various petitioners who wanted to organise a poker room in the city approached the high court last year after their plead was not heard by the city police to host the game.
It was also submitted in the petition to the high court that there are other states in India which do not recognise poker as gambling but as a game of skill. Since the factor of skill is involved, the activity cannot be dealt with under the Prevention of Gambling Act. It even cited a couple of judicial pronouncements and names of states where administration allows organising the game of poker in those states.
Some corporations of poker organisers like Indian Poker Association too involved in the litigation and asserted that poker could not be deemed as gambling and the gaming zones should be permitted to organise poker room in the city. The high court was unwilling to entertain nearly a dozen such applications on the technical ground that the nature of litigation was civil, but the petitions were filed as criminal applications. The petitioners withdrew all the requests to register them afresh on the public side.
Accordingly, new petitions were filed, and the issue was debated at length. The state government vehemently opposed any permission for poker in Gujarat on the ground that it is gambling and if allowed, the game has potential to spoil lives of people who play the game. After hearing the case, Justice R H Shukla dismissed all petitions seeking police permission for poker on the ground that it is not gambling.