New Delhi: Hearing an appeal challenging a Madras high court ruling that playing rummy with stakes amounts to gambling, the Supreme Court on Thursday said that the verdict will not impact online rummy websites.

A bench comprising Justices Madan B. Lokur and S.A. Bobde ruled that the judgment in question will not affect online rummy and their plea is premature.

Many online rummy website companies such as Play Games 24/7 Ltd and Junglee Games India Pvt. Ltd moved the apex court against the 2012 high court judgment claiming that they their business would be affected by the ruling.

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing on behalf of the online rummy websites, said that the government has no framework of rules for online gaming yet.

However, the court is yet to rule on the fate of table-rummy.

Mahalakshmi Cultural Association, a Chennai-based city club, had challenged a March 2012 judgment of a divisional bench of the Madras high court that ruled that playing rummy with stakes amounts to gambling.

The judgment had overruled a single judge bench verdict of the same court in November 2011 which had said that rummy is a game of skill and hence it doesn’t amount to gambling.

Explaining the law on this point, advocate-on-record Sunil Fernandes said that there’s a distinction between a game of skill and a game of chance.

“A game of skill is not gambling even if played with stakes whereas a game of chance would amount to gambling even if played without stakes," he said.

The case will be heard next on 18 August.

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