The Gujarat police have conducted yet another raid on a poker room, the third in the past two weeks, local media reports.
While details of the number of people arrested and amount of currency and valuables seized is not immediately clear, the recent raid on The Headquarters Poker Room in Ahmedabad is seen at yet another attempt to crack the whip on gambling activities in the region.
Over the last two weeks, police raided a poker room operated by AAA Gaming in Surat and another operating in the Navrangpura Hotel in Ahmedabad.
Commenting on the development, KN Suresh, Secretary of the Indian Poker Association (IPA) said, “The player interest is paramount for IPA. While we know that Headquarters is right and that there is nothing illegal about the activity, we think it would have been prudent to clarify as we propose to do when our matter comes up tomorrow before we resume games, it is the only fair thing to do for players.”
Last week, the IPA announced it had suspended poker operations at the YMCA Club in Ahmedabad and has put its plans to open more poker clubs in the city on hold as a result of the ramp up in police raids.
According to Glaws, Gujarat police has consistently claimed that poker is a game of chance and consequently playing the game for stakes amounts to gambling.
Four poker clubs have however challenged the police action in the Gujarat High Court and the matter is scheduled for a hearing on June 9, 2017.
It is also understood that the IPA has brought the matter before a vacation bench of the Gujarat High Court for urgent adjudication.
The association claims that poker is a game of skill and thus is protected under the right to free trade and commerce. IPA has also stated that the recent raids on poker rooms and harassment of poker operators by the police is not justified.
Suresh said he was confident the court will rule in his favour on May 22.