Hey there Indian poker lovers! With the confusion surrounding the future of online poker in Gujarat, we have some heartbreaking online poker news for you today. Some of the prominent online poker platforms are withdrawing their online gaming services from the state leaving the players in a tight spot. On 4th December 2017, the Gujarat High Court rejected a petition filed by a group of poker clubs including the Indian Poker Association (IPA) asking to recognize poker as a skill game. The Dominance Games Pvt. Ltd. & Others vs State of Gujarat & Others petition case was dismissed by Justice Rajesh H. Shukla who declared that poker is gambling even though it is a game of skill.
With the legality of poker coming into question, Baadshah Gaming took the initial step to back out of Gujarat and refuse accepting players from the state. On their official website, Baadshah notified that they will not accept any players residing in Gujarat.
The official notice stated “URGENT NOTICE FOR RESIDENTS OF GUJARAT: As per the recent judgment of Gujarat High Court dated 04.12.2017 in the case of Dominance Games Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. vs State of Gujarat & Ors., the residents of Gujarat are not allowed to play Poker on our platform. We request the players residing in the state of Gujarat and/or accessing the website from Gujarat not to play Poker on our website.”
In an interview to Glaws.in Madhav Gupta, CEO of Baadshah Gaming, said “We at Baadshah Gaming will continue to abide by the rules of the land. Since the latest order from the Gujarat High Court, we have suspended poker operations in the state. While we will miss our Gujarat players it is our responsibility to always be legally compliant.” He added that the deposits of current players from the state will be refunded.
Later PokerStars, the globally reputed online poker portal, followed suit and banned players from Gujarat from playing on their site. In an official email the company notified, “We frequently review commercial and regulatory developments around the world. Following such a review, we have taken the step to block residents of the state of Gujarat from access to real money poker play. Player funds remain protected and available for withdrawal, and we hope to offer real money games again in the future.”
Although other poker websites like Khelo365, Adda52 & PokerBaazi, have not reacted to the legal judgment yet, however it is speculated that they may soon withdraw from Gujarat as well.
The state has a huge base of poker players and it is really unfortunate that the residents of Gujarat will now have to refrain from playing their favorite mental sport and have an opportunity to earn good money.
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