The Honourable Supreme Court in "State of Bombay v. RMD Chamarbaugwala, AIR 1957 SC 699” stated that prize competitions which involve substantial skill are business activities that are protected under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. Gambling or gaming has been defined by the Supreme Court in 1996 as betting and wagering on games of chance only. The Supreme Court in the same judgement excluded games of skill, irrespective of whether they are played for money or not, from the definition of gambling.
Supreme Court of India in 1996 defined skill as follows:
1.The competitions where success depends on substantial degree of skill are not "gambling" and
2.Despite there being an element of chance if a game is preponderantly a game of skill it would nevertheless be a game of "mere skill".
We, therefore, hold that the expression "mere skill" would mean substantial degree or preponderance of skill.
Is Rummy Game of Skill or Not?
The 1968 Supreme Court ruling declared rummy to be a game of skill and said the following:
"Rummy, on the other hand, requires certain amount of skill because the fall of the cards has to be memorised and the building up of Rummy requires considerable skill in holding and discarding cards. We cannot, therefore, say that the game of Rummy is a game of entire chance. It is mainly and preponderantly a game of skill. The chance in Rummy is of the same character as the chance in a deal at a game of bridge."
Also, the Supreme Court in 1996 also stated:
"A game of skill, on the other hand - although the element of chance necessarily cannot be entirely eliminated --is one in which success depends principally upon the superior knowledge, training, attention, experience and adroitness of the player. Golf, chess and even Rummy are considered to be games of skill. The Courts have reasoned that there are few games, if any, which consist purely of chance or skill, and as such a game of chance is one in which the element of chance predominates over the element of skill, and a game of skill is one in which the element of skill predominates over the element of chance. It is the dominant element --"skill" or "chance" -- which determines the character of the game."
Is it Legal to Play Rummy on rummypandit.com?
The Hon'ble High Courts in "D. Krishna Kumar & Anr. V. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2002 (5) ALT 806" have upheld that 'Rummy' is a 'Game of Skill' and therefore, prize competitions which involve substantial skill are business activities that are protected under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.
The various Supreme Court rulings and the Gaming Acts of India imply the following:
1.Games of skill are exempt from the penal provisions of most gaming/gambling acts. Rummy doesn't come under betting or gambling and it's legal.
2.Rummy unveils that skill is a predominant factor than chance.
3.Rummy is a skill-based game where players show their real-time skills at the table by arranging the 13 cards in the proper sequences or sets and discarding the cards.
So yes, it is perfectly legal to play rummy for cash on rummypandit.com as long as you are not playing from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Assam, Odisha, Nagaland, Sikkim, Karnataka and Meghalaya. In these states the gaming laws are unclear. We hope in near future the laws in these states offer better clarity for us to extend our services there.