Gaming Poker

Indian Poker Face Diwali party raided by Mumbai police, 135 arrested

The Mumbai police conducted a surprise raid at the Sea Princess Hotel in Juhu in the early hours of 6th November and arrested around 135 people, indulging in gambling and poker games, as per media reports.

The party was organised in the halls on the first and second floors of the hotel by the Indian Poker Face (IPF), where different kinds of gambling games, including poker were being played.

Two organisers, Jaldeep Vadhera and Honey R, and 16 others who were part of the organising and managing team, some of whom also have links with an online poker website, have been arrested by the police. Of the 63 men and 54 women who had been invited, the women were let off while the men were placed under arrest by Santacruz police station, where a complaint was registered. All 135 have been booked under the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887 and were later released on bail.

The raid was supposedly conducted on the instructions of Mumbai Police Commissioner Subodh Kumar Jaiswal and Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ashutosh Dumbare, after receiving information that an invite only party involving gambling would be conducted at the hotel premises.

The police described those who attended the party as rich businessmen and women and Rs 3.5 lakh in cash and Rs 25 lakh worth of poker chips have been seized from those detained.


Nationwide movement for recognition of poker begins, Indian Poker Federation formed

Indian Poker Federation (IPF), a “Not-for-profit” trust having its registered office in Bangalore has been formed recently with the intent of getting poker recognised as a mind game involving considerable skill and strategy, quashing the notion that poker is gambling and creating a common platform for everyone associated with poker in India.

As readers might be aware, there is considerable debate amongst academicians and card lovers across the globe as to whether skill or chance is predominant in poker. The International Federation of Poker (IFP) has already managed to get poker recognised as a mind sport with IFP being granted an observer status in the International Mind Games Association. This will put poker on the same pedestal as games like go, bridge and chess.

Indian Poker Federation

Certain state courts in USA and the Supreme Court of Sweden have already recognised certain forms of poker to be a game of skill separate from gambling. Various academicians and statisticians have also argued that poker is “predominantly and preponderantly” a game of skill.

I had also contextualised the Indian perspective on poker as a game of skill in my earlier post and concluded that the Supreme Court verdict declaring rummy to be a game of skill should be used in also proclaiming poker to be a skill-based sport.

The Indian Poker Federation precisely envisages this. IPF will endeavour to get poker recognised as a game of skill and promises to persuade the judiciary and politicians to quash the notion that poker falls within the ambit of “gambling” as define by the Public Gambling Act 1887 and other state gaming statutes. IPF has evolved a comprehensive strategy for creating a joint efforts and filing petitions before High Courts and the Supreme Court of India. IPF will liason with a dedicated legal team and all stakeholders associated with poker in India to ensure that the primary objective of delinking poker from gambling is achieved at the earliest.

The other objectives of IPF include becoming India’s premier body for governing the sport of poker, getting poker recognised as an indoor sport with the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, conducting nationwide poker tournaments as and when it is legally permissible.

IPF has also included a group, Indian Poker Players Alliance or IPPA on the lines of the Poker Players Alliance of USA to create a common platform for poker players to interact and air their concerns.

For more on the IPF mission, to support the cause or to register as a member, kindly visit the IPF website