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Reprieve for rummy players: Supreme Court temporarily stays Madras HC decision on rummy, to further hear appeal



In a major reprieve for rummy players, the Supreme Court stayed the Madras High Court decision that prohibited Mahalaxmi Cultural Association (MCA) from making a profit (or permit stakes) from the game of rummy.

The Supreme Court stayed paragraphs 25(1), 25(2) and 25(4) of the earlier division bench decision of the Madras High Court. This means that there is no bar on MCA to offer rummy for stakes. However the Supreme Court has not taken a decision on whether games of skill can be played for stakes or whether profit can be made from such games. Advocate Venkateswara Rao appearing for MCA said that the stay order is only applicable to the rummy games offered by Mahalakshmi Cultural Association and not a blanket order permitting rummy for stakes in the whole of Tamil Nadu.

Rao further said that police may decide to take action against other organisations offering rummy for stakes until this matter is finally decided by the Supreme Court. According to Rao the appeal against the Madras High Court decision is still in its initial stage and arguments will only be heard after the respondents (Chennai police) are given notice. It is believed that it will take at least a couple of years to have a final verdict on this matter.

This pending appeal is extremely significant as the decision of the Supreme Court will decide whether games like rummy, golf etc. can be played for stakes and whether organisations can make profit by offering such gaming services. Online rummy websites said to be worth over Rs. 200 crores will be keenly monitoring developments in the Supreme Court as any such verdict of the Supreme Court will apply uniformly across India. The fate of the ‘skill game’ industry will hinge on the verdict given by the Supreme Court in this appeal.


The Supreme Court stay order can be accessed here

The judgment of the division bench of the Madras High Court can be accessed here

This development was first reported on Games24x7 Blog.


Jay has researched extensively on gaming laws and has been cited by various media houses and journals as an expert. He has helped leading newspapers in their stories on gaming laws. Jay completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from NUJS, Kolkata in 2015 and is currently based out of Mumbai.




    May 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    What is the progress of Court proceedings in the case of Mahalaxmi cultural association after 30-4-2013

    • Jay Sayta

      May 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      The matter is still pending, notices have to be served and hearings to be conducted after the vacation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court ends I believe.


    May 30, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Trishool Friends is a registered recreation club. Is it necessary to obtain lisence to allow our members to play Rummy without stakes by collecting an entrance fee of Rs.50=00 from each member per day? If so please inform the proceedure to be followed to obtain the said lisence.

    • Jay Sayta

      May 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

      There is no such license required but whether such rummy for stakes and profit will be allowed in the future would depend on the verdict of the Supreme Court.


    June 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    The Hon. High Court judgement says ‘The Amusement Order 1989 provides that unless the petitioner’s Association obtains licence to play the Rummy as a stake they cannot play the game Is there a provision to obtain licence to play Rummy for stakes in Karnataka state. Please guide.


    June 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    The Hon.High Court judgement says’The Amusement Order 1989 provids that unless the petitioner’s Association obtains licence to play the Rummy as a stake they cannot play the game’ Is there a provision to obtain licence to play Rummy for stakes in Karnataka state? Please guige.


    September 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Kindly communicate your opinion about the date of final virdict of MCAcase

    • Jay Sayta

      September 14, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Final verdict should be out by late 2014 or 2015. I will write a complete analysis when the verdict is out.


    August 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    What is the result of supreme court hearing 13-8-2014 about MCA


    August 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    What is the result of supreme court hearing on 13-8-2014 about malaxmi cultural association

    • Jay Sayta

      August 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      The next date of hearing is scheduled for 16-09-2014. Decision is expected very soon.


    August 19, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Thanks for your kind coaperation


    December 8, 2014 at 9:38 am

    What will be the expected result about rummy for stakes by SUPREME COURT during january15 hearing

    • Jay Sayta

      December 8, 2014 at 10:29 am

      As I had said, result from the decision will take time and it is difficult to predict with certainty the date by which a decision can be expected.


    August 19, 2015 at 9:36 am


    • Jay Sayta

      August 19, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Its disposed as accused are acquitted. Full order and details to be available soon.


    August 19, 2015 at 9:52 pm



    December 16, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Please clarify whether the managing committe members like president,secretary or directors can play rummy for stakes in their clubs and whether the same will prove the club as acommon gaming house

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