"Games Of Skill": Madras High Court Lifts Ban On Online Rummy, Poker

Online games can be played only by those who were 18 years and above, court observed. Chennai:

The Madras High Court on Thursday declined to declare the entire Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022, as ultra vires the Constitution and held Rummy and Poker are ‘games of skill.’

It set aside the Schedule of the Act incorporating Rummy and Poker as games of chance in the list of banned games.

The Tamil Nadu government had introduced the legislation earlier following a spate of suicides allegedly over monetary loss in online gambling.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice S V Gangapurwala and Justice P D Audikesavalu partly allowed the writ petitions filed by All India Gaming Federation and other online gaming companies, which challenged the Act.

“We hold that the impugned Act, in its entirety, need not be held to be ultra vires. It is held that the State is competent to legislate to the extent of prohibiting online gambling, i.e., games of chance, at the same time, it has got the authority to regulate online games of skill. The definition of “online gambling” under Section 2(i) of the impugned Act shall be read as restricted to “games of chance” and not games involving skill. ..the games of rummy and poker are games of cards, but are games of skill,” the bench said.

The bench said having held that the State has got the authority to legislate on online games of chance, as gambling would be betting on the games of chance, it was not necessary to declare Sections 7, 8 and 9 of the impugned Act as ultra vires. It has been authoritatively held by the Supreme Court in a catena of judgments, so also this Court that the games of rummy and poker were games of skill.

The State has miserably failed to demonstrate online games of rummy and poker were different and distinct from offline games of rummy and poker. The apprehension expressed by the State that bots may be used or the dealer (software) would know the cards were without any substantive material. In view […]

Click here to view original web page at www.ndtv.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *