The Kerala High Court on January 27 issued a notice to Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli over his association with an online rummy game portal. Along with Kohli, the notices were also sent to actors Thammanna and Aju Vargheese.
The action by the court came while hearing a petition which sought a ban on online rummy games. The petition was moved by Pauly Vadakkan, a native of Thrissur.
The division bench of Kerala HC, headed by Chief Justice S Manikumar, asked the Kerala government to file a reply on the demand raised by the petitioner.
The petitioner also sought action against the brand ambassadors, citing their role in "attracting the youth" towards the "addictive" rummy portals.
"The stars, who are the brand ambassadors, attracted the audience and took part in the competition," news agency ANI quoted the petition as saying.
The plea pointed out before the court that several persons died by suicide after losing huge amounts of money through only rummy games. The HC was appealed to issue an immediate ban on such portals.
"Online Rummy is within the limits of gambling...It should be legally prohibited. Other states have done the same. Kerala has a 1960 law. But no other steps have been taken," the petitioner added.
The online rummy market has surged in India over the past couple of years, primarily due to the growth in usage of mobile internet."Because of the extensive demographic and geographic reach of mobile gaming, the industry currently is at Rs 2,000 crore and is expected to grow by 34 percent annually," Hardik Parekh, Director, Sachar Gaming said.