Gambling with stakes not illegal: Madras HC


Gambling with stakes not illegal: Madras HC
Kaushik Kannan | TNN | Updated: Dec 23, 2019, 09:54 IST

Madras high court
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MADURAI: Observing that playing cards with stakes becomes an offence under the 
Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930, only if it takes place at a gaming house, the Madras high court quashed cases registered against several people on charges of 

Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan passed the order while hearing a batch of petitions filed by several people from 
Madurai, Virudhunagar, Theni and 
Dindigul districts who were booked under the Act for gambling. All the cases were registered after the police conducted raids at clubs based on a tip-off.

The judge noted that as per the Act, the ‘common gaming house’ means any place which has been set up to deal with cards, dice, tables and other instruments of gaming with the sole intent to profit or gain for the person running it.

The judge observed that it is very clear that profit or gain is the primordial requisite for running a common gaming house. “Unless and until the prosecution proves that there was a profit or gain by the owner or occupier of the place, the same would not come under the definition of a common gaming house,” said the judge.

The judge said that in the present case, the police recovered money on the table and it is not sufficient to prove the club is getting a share or profiting from it. The judge observed that members playing cards and making profit is not a criterion to decide that whether the premises was used as a gaming house.

The judge further observed that except for the recovery of playing cards and money from the accused, no other incriminating material was seized from the place of occurrence to prove the accused have any connection with a common gaming house.

The judge observed, “Playing cards with stakes is not an offence under the Act, whereas playing cards in any gaming house is only an offence under the Act. The clubs in which all the accused persons played cards are not gaming under the purview of common gaming house.”

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