India’s fledgling poker community was in for a shock last night when one of India’s foremost offline poker rooms, Rockets, in Bangalore, was raided by the police in the late hours of Sunday during their main event. The police made a daunting dent in the way poker is viewed in the eyes of Indian citizens, by taking away literally every rupee that was present at the venue without any written notice, essentially stripping the entire ambit of people present there of their hard-earned money. A lot of notable names of the Indian poker circuit were present at the venue when the unfortunate incident occurred.
Having been cleared by the highest court of the country as a game of skill, poker still remains illegal to be played offline in poker rooms in almost all major states of India. Bangalore, however, has maintained a relatively lenient viewpoint by allowing offline poker rooms to run, but only until 11 PM in the night, which is where it all went wrong for Rockets Poker Room. They could have structured their hugely anticipated tournament in a manner which could wrap things up by 11 and hold their ground legally, so to speak. The police came to know of this violation and pounced at the organizers and players with both hands, leaving a big question mark over the game’s future in the country. Time will tell, if Indian poker can make a comeback from this unfortunate mishap, which surely has left a scar on the entire community.
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