The Kerala government issued a statement on Saturday announcing that the online rummy game is illegal. According to reports, the Statement was issued by amending the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960, to include the existing online rummy games played by betting money. In February 2021, the Kerala High Court had advised the state government to decide on the inclusion of online gambling and online betting games within the agenda of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960. “These types of games will be available online. But by banning it, the government can now initiate legal action against those playing it. Also, those playing online rummy will not get any legal recourse if they have any complaints of fraud or other issues,” said cybersecurity expert Manu P Zacharia, a member of the Data Security Council of India.
The court had also issued notices to Celebrities like the Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, actors Tamannah Bhatia and Aju Varghese who were brand ambassadors of few online rummy websites. The petitioner had also included two online rummy portals, Play Games 24×7 Private Ltd. and Mobile Premier Leagues as respondents.
Earlier this year, a 28-year-old Kerala man killed himself after losing several lakh rupees to online rummy. He was identified as VH Vineeth, A contract employee of the Indian Science and Research Organisation (ISRO), he began playing the game during the COVID-19 lockdown in March last year. He had reportedly taken loans from many private banks to play the game.