While sports betting is also popular in India, online sportsbooks face tough competition against the online gaming platforms largely preferred by Indian gamers. India’s online players are mostly hooked on playing traditional games of skills that they consider as more viable sources of extra income. Online rummy cash games in particular have taken the country by storm, since it’s a traditional game widely played throughout the country for centuries.
Whereas sports betting is more complex, whilst relying heavily on the playing skills and strategies of sports teams. Even online poker gaming platforms have been affected by the arrival of online rummy gaming platforms in India’s Internet space. Currently, rummy gaming platforms dominate the country’s online gaming industry as the traditional card game has become the game of choice for millions of mobile gamers throughout the country.
The rules for rummy games are clear and simple, while only winnings of Rs10K and above are subject to withholding taxes. This denotes that it’s up to the players to include winnings of below Rs 10K to include the amounts won in their annual Income tax returns, providers of rummy gaming platforms collect an equivalent fee from winners.
What Spurred The Growth of Online Rummy Gaming in India?
India’s online gaming industry has been growing at a rapid rate in recent years, especially at the height of the COVID-10 lockdowns. This gaming sector achieved a growth of 17.3% in 2020, which raised the industry’s value to US$1.027 billion, from the previous $543 million posted in 2016.
The upward trend actually began after the Supreme Court of India, handed down a ruling that declared staking wagers on rummy games is 100% legal. The 2015 Supreme Court ruling was based on The Public Gambling Act of 1867, which is the only recognized gambling law in the land. It defines games of skill as exceptions to the country’s gambling ban, since losing or winning is largely dependent on the skills of the players.
However, since the petitions for clarification were filed by land-based and web-based rummy gaming outlets, the SC ruling applied only to rummy games. While playing rummy online is already enjoyable as it is, Indian rummy gamers feel more at ease in wagering their money on games that have been upheld as legal by the Highest Court of the land.
Yet several Indian states questioned the legality of offering the games online, as the platforms have the potential to include games of chance; such as those available in online casinos and sportsbooks.
As a result, several autonomous Indian states promulgated statutes affecting the accessibility of online gaming platforms in their regions, Last year, the autonomous governments of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu decreed that gambling online in any form, is illegal and anyone proven to have engaged in online gambling activities will be severely punished.
That being the case, rummy gaming platforms issued notifications that they are not accepting players from states with online gambling prohibitions. The notification published by Rummy Ho indicates that in the event that the site operators will be asked to provide information related to official investigations being conducted by state authorities, they will be constrained to cooperate and comply with the requests.