Telangana police to have tough time enforcing online rummy ban

The State police is not fully equipped to track down online gamers and organisers

Published: 19th June 2017 02:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th June 2017 06:49 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: With a new ordinance banning online rummy, things are going to become tougher for the Telangana police, which is not entirely equipped and skilled in tracking online gamers and organisers.
The Supreme Court on August 18, 2015, in a verdict recognised rummy as a game of skill and termed it legal. However, later the Government of India termed playing of online games including rummy, poker and others as legally risky.

With thousands of websites mushrooming up, the online gaming business is expected to be running with a turnover of lakhs of crores of rupees every year in India.

In a recent case, the cyber crime police of Hyderabad had apprehended a young man who had quit his job at Google to start an online investment business. After ending up in losses, the youngster chose to play online rummy and reportedly earned `5 lakh by investing `1 lakh. In his confession to the cops, he claimed that online rummy had helped him in clearing the debts. So far, only one case has been registered in the state about online games, wherein a city resident had lost his money and had sold his car, to only bet money in online rummy. However, the victim complained to the police alleging cheating by a Hyderabad-based company which reportedly collected exorbitant service tax between 16 per cent to 20 per cent for each online rummy game.

Organisers to be liable for action

Meanwhile, the police officers opine that organisers, and not the players, of online gambling would be liable for action. A cyber crime officer from Hyderabad said it would be next to impossible to track all the online gamers. “The only way to deal with this is to make the game hosting companies or organisers liable. The mobile applications offering online gambling and hosted in Telangana can be booked,’’ said the officer.

Answering a query on how the police would crack down on gamers a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity, said: “Cases will be booked on online rummy organisers to prevent them from hosting the game. However, the players cannot be booked. We would need to look into what kind of games are being played.”

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