Gujarat HC asks state government for decision on poker

    The Gujarat High Court has asked the state government to inform whether poker falls into the category of gambling, following a petition filed by the Indian Poker Association, local media reports.

    Last week, IPA secretary KN Suresh filed a petition to declare poker a ‘game of skill’ after the city’s police stopped the game from being played at a YMCA club.

    The petition, filed through advocate Maulin Pandya, claimed that IPA entered into an agreement with YMCA Club to start poker at its premises a month ago to promote the game and produce players who could represent India at international tournaments.

    However, police allegedly started harassing him and asked the association and club owners to stop poker games or “face consequences”, the petition alleged.

    Pandya argued that the police’s action was “illegal” and “arbitrary”, and that poker was a “game of skill”, not covered under Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act.

    “Since poker is not gambling, it is not under the ambit of the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1987. The expression ‘Poker’ does not form part of ‘gaming or gambling’,” the association stated in its petition.

    The hearing has reportedly been adjourned to November 9.