Following the footsteps of the Gujarat High Court and Telegana, Bombay High Court also announces that Poker is not a game of skill but a game of pure chance. Bombay High Court gave this verdict regarding to an appeal lodged by a businessman taken into custody by the Bombay police and was charged under various sections of the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act.
The businessman, Nasir Patel, was found playing poker with 29 people in a residential apartment in Goregaon, Mumbai when the police invaded them and catch them red handed acting on an anonymous tip-off. The jury that gave the verdict comprises Justice RM Sawant and Sarang Kotwal stated that ‘‘how can poker be a game of skill? You simply get the cards and open it, and if chance be, you will win,” to DNA.
Also read DNA’s original report: Poker not a game of skill, it’s gambling: Bombay High Court
The jury further added that they have explored all the aspects of the game thoroughly and come to this conclusion that poker is not a game of skill but of pure chance.
A petition was filed from the businessman’s side that, Karnataka High Court and other High Courts believe that playing poker requires skill as well as luck, luck being the secondary attribute. However, if all the rules are followed accordance to the law then it is not an offense and the Bombay High Court should consider this verdict of other high courts. The petition also voiced that playing a game of poker with your friends within four walls of a private place cannot be gambling unless the government laid down some laws that prohibits playing poker with friends is a crime.
However, Bombay HC not only dismissed the petition and but also vacated the interim relief, prohibiting the police from filing a charge sheet case registered by them in 2016.
The Goregaon police said that they got an anonymous tip-off and they acted on that quickly. When they raided the apartment they found 8 people playing poker seated around two tables using coins to play poker. After the questioning, the police said that Nasir Patel was the one running the gambling den and he was also the cashier. A total of 29 individuals were taken into custody by the police. Fortunately, all of them got bailed by the magistrate.
Patel and company claimed through their petition that the police raided a private party with friends who were playing poker for entertainment purposes and not for gambling. Moreover, the law and order didn’t consider the fact that playing poker privately with friends require no license.