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IPA suspends operations in Ahmedabad amidst new raid by police

The Indian Poker Association has suspended its poker operations in YMCA Club, Ahmedabad and also its plan to open three more poker clubs in the city.

The announcement was made by KN Suresh, Secretary of IPA on his Facebook page. Suresh said that he would be approaching the Gujarat High Court soon to get a clear direction and in the absence of interim relief granted by the court, he had no option but to suspend the club’s operations in the city, in the interest of the safety of players. He made the following statement:

PokerWala

Poker in Ahmedabad is suspended until we get more clarity from courts. It’s the safest thing for us poker players considering that the authorities seem to be confused.
While they sleep over our representation & instead of answering the queries before courts the authorities have become aggressive and in a evidently boisterous mood.
IPA will be moving the Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat during the vacation over the next week and flip this upside down. Cheers!!

A raid by the Ahmedabad police on poker games happening in the Navrangpura Hotel in the city seems to have prompted the IPA to temporarily shut down its operations. Last week, the Surat Police had raided a poker club operated by AAA Gaming and arrested 32 people.

Jaydeep Dawer, Director of AAA Gaming has vowed to fight the matter in courts and issued the following statement on social media:

This morning as the Sun Shone, it guided me to pen down the TRUTH related to the events that have happened in the past few days. The Media has been all over scanting for any misinformation they can extract from the air since 30th April. This is my effort to make it easy for them when it comes to POKER!!!!

1. POKER is a skill Game and it is out of purview of the Bombay Prevention of Gambling Act of 1955 & Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act 1987.

2. Poker has a legit status in West Bengal & Karnataka. A Criminal Miscelleous Application Petition is pending before the High Court of Gujarat since more than 3 months. This is our effort to to obtain the same status for the game in the state of Gujarat.

3. Media quotes, “Poker mania nu jugaar ramaato hato”. Well, If its Poker, it cant be termed as Gambling & if its Gambling, its definitely not Poker. And there is no such game as Poker mania.

4. Media says, we were operating a Casino. A Casino comprises of games Roulette, Black Jack, Flush, Ander Bahar which are purely games of chance, while a Poker Room though a part of the casino is always separate and insulated from the above games. At our facility, we did not have any provision for any of the above Games of Chance.

5. Media says I travel the country to play Poker and I am an expert in the game. Is it unlawful to travel in the country to play Poker? Expertise requires skill in the game and we have numerous players who are experts in Poker. But One can only get lucky in Games of chance and to be an expert in them without cheating is unheard of I guess!!! This Media themselves prove that Poker is not Gambling as they compliment me of being an expert in the game.

6. A Law makes an activity legal/illegal. In absence of a law, can an activity be vetoed Illegal?

7. If there is no law for Poker, its high time some definite laws are framed about the game rather than framing a few Poker passionates as accused without proper knowledge & Truth about the game.

IPA has also announced that its plans to open a poker room named ‘Safe House’ in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Paschim Vihar in New Delhi would not be affected by this latest development. The Radisson Blu Poker room is expected to commence operations tonight.

About Jay Sayta

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.

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