Move on to make Poker legal

Published: 25 October, 2011 06:49 IST | Sheetal Sukhija |

Indian Poker Federation has begun procedure to persuade judiciary to quash notion that game falls within ambit of gambling

Indian Poker Federation has begun procedure to persuade judiciary to quash notion that game falls within ambit of gambling
The growing interest in the deceptive game of Poker has triggered a movement, which could bring about the possibility of the game being legalised across the country. The Indian Poker Federation has begun the legal procedure to persuade the judiciary to quash the notion that the game falls within the ambit of gambling.

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The federation now aims to file petitions before the HC and SC seeking legalising of the sport. Several poker-strategy teaching websites are taking the initiative forward and one of the world's biggest Poker learning websites - PokerStrategy - revealed that in India, Bangalore has the highest number of poker enthusiasts.

The website receives over 150 enrollments each week from India, most of which are from the city.

"The response from India has been positive. There are poker enthusiasts who want to discuss with like-minded people from across the globe.

A regulated market will allow gaming companies to legally mass-market their product. Governments issue licenses and on tax-basis from these companies and players can officially feel safe about their hobby," said Hannes Hanusch, business unit manager (India),

With Diwali around the corner, the Indian Poker Federation is going all out to promote the game, albeit in a legal fashion.

"The premise of the federation would be based on Rummy, which received legal nod in the late 1950s. Today, the game enjoys a wide social acceptance, while Poker is widely frowned upon.
Our research and statistical data indicates that the two games are similar in construct and in both, the element of luck is diminished by the fall of cards. Why then should there be this discrimination between both the games?" said Nitin Sood, one of the founding members of the IPF.

He added that a lawyer who specialises in the gaming law has also been roped in. "Apart from Rummy, our other premise is horse racing, which has also received legal acceptance. At the federation, we invite enthusiasts, who want to support our stance in any way possible," he said.

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