The Telangana government on June 18th took the decision to issue four ordinances against existing laws. Of the four, one of the amendments will be to the Gambling Act. The new law makes online gamblers and promoters of these games, liable for prosecution.

The ordinance, which will now need Governor E S L Narasimhan’s approval.

Crackdown on ‘Gambling’

The Times of India reported that the move by the TRS government was in contradiction with its gaming policy released three months ago. The policy then proposed incentives for the online gaming industry.

However, the state government was upset over the rising number of complaints against the industry.

After a cabinet meeting, Deputy Chief Minister, Kadiam Srihari announced these changes to the state laws yesterday. “Soon after the formation of Telangana, the CM had ordered police to crack down on clubs and other places which encourage gambling. But the government received complaints that people are now indulging in online gambling. We want to eliminate gambling in all forms. So the Gaming Act would be amended, banning online gambling. The cyber police will track online gambling and act against violators,” PTI quoted Srihari as saying.

Residents of Telangana are known to be extremely fond of playing rummy and rummy operators are expected to take the steepest hit. One of the biggest online rummy operators, Ace2Three Rummy, temporarily shut it’s services with its webpage displaying a message addressing the recent events. The message read: “Keeping in mind the recent changes in regulations in the state of Telangana we have stopped operating Ace2Three real money games. We are evaluating the legal implication. We will be back soon. Please bear with us till then. We will keep you updated!


Ace2Three Rummy Website on 19th June, 2017

Online rummy operators are expected to challenge the ordinance in courts soon.

The effect of the ordinance is as yet unclear on poker operators, although players from the state are likely to be barred for the time being until the implications are made clear.

Two of the other ordinances are aimed at curbing the sale of spurious seeds and fertilisers, adulteration of food items and the use of fake educational certificates. A fourth ordinace will amend the VAT Act, to enable it to be in force for six years after the GST roll-out to resolve pending VAT disputes.

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