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Goa Lions in legal tangle with Raj Kundra’s Match IPL; will not participate in Season 3



Exclusive Goa Lions, one of the teams participating in Viaan Industries promoted Match Indian Poker League (Match IPL), has alleged that the league is not fulfilling its contractual obligations and has consequently refused to participate in the forthcoming Season 3 of the league to be held on 23rd and 24th October in Mumbai.

Ability Games Pvt. Ltd., the company which owns the Goa Lions team has alleged that Match IPL is not honouring it commitment of holding an auction for poker players as well as conducting the event in the ‘match poker’ format using electronic devices.

Ability Games has stated that Viaan Industries does not have any ready software for conducting the match poker tournament and is instead conducting the event through physical cards, which makes the tournament format prone to irregularities and inaccuracies.

The company therefore refused to pay the fee of Rs. 50 lakhs for participating in the forthcoming edition of the tournament due to which Viaan Industries sent them a termination notice.

Ability Games thereafter approached the Bombay High Court against the termination of its contract. A single judge bench of Justice SJ Kathawala while hearing the arbitration petition filed by Ability Games yesterday, appointed Advocate Ranjeev Carvalho as the sole arbitrator to adjudicate the dispute.

The court vide its order on 15th October, 2018, also directed Ability Games to deposit the fee of Rs. 50 lakhs fee due to Match IPL with the Prothonotary and Senior Master of the Bombay High Court within two weeks, which shall be disbursed according to the adjudication made by the arbitrator or court.

The court further stayed the termination notice given by Viaan Industries to Ability Games and allowed the Goa Lions team to not participate in Season 3 of Match IPL.

Reacting to the allegations made by Goa Lions, Raj Kundra, Chairman and Managing Director of Viaan Industries said, “We are happy that the court has made Goa Lions submit the pending license fee of Rs. 50 lakhs and moved the case to arbitration. The (next season of the) league will go on with the remaining 9 teams.”

Kundra also rubbished the allegations leveled by Goa Lions and said the previous season of Match IPL was conducted by physical cards due to a technical glitch in the software and the same was agreed by majority of the team owners. He said it was a one off incident and that the forthcoming season would be held on the software prepared by the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP).

In January this year, actor Sachiin Joshi had alleged that Kundra’s Match IPL was rigged and that he had not honoured his contractual commitments.

Kundra on the other hand had claimed that Joshi did not pay his franchisee fee and that the cheque he had paid got dishonoured. Kundra also filed a criminal defamation case against Joshi for making various allegations against him and his poker league.

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.