The government of Kerala, an Indian state, is considering amending a 40-year old law, which will make the reorganization of bridge and poker as games of skill possible, according to a recent announcement and a report by Glaws.
Last year, Jay Sayta, a gaming lawyer, discovered the clause, which exempts games such as dart throw, rummy, and ball throw shooting contests from the Gaming Act’s penal provisions. Based on the discovery, Sayta petitioned Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who held the position at the time, that since the element of chance is outweighed by the element of skill the notification should be amended to also include the two card games in the exemption.
Sayta pointed out in the letter that the rummy, poker, and bridge are exempt from the gambling categorization in a statute in Wes Bengal, and poker has already been determined to be a game of skill by the Karnataka High Court. It was also noted that the regulation and recognition of online rummy, poker, and bridge as games of skill was recently enacted by the Nagaland in a new law.
According to Sayta, the application has been referred to the Home Department by the office of the Chief Minister and that the discussion regarding whether or not poker should be included in the exemptions, has already been initiated by the Home Department with the Law Department. Sayta said that if the suggestions are accepted, “it would be end any ambiguity on the legality of online poker and conclusively end any debate regarding the element of skill involved in the game. Perhaps, the next few months will be crucial for the skill games industry.”