Madras High Court rule poker and rummy as skill games

Jake Graves 4 weeks ago
Madras High Court rule poker and rummy as skill games

Madras High Court has ruled that the prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022, will not apply to games of skill.

On November 9th, 2023, the High Court ruled that the Tamil Nadu prohibition would not be struck down despite pressure from the industry.

However, some progress was made as it was decided that skill games such as Poker or Rummy would not be included within this prohibition and be authorised through law.

The ruling

Through this ruling, the court rejected the State government’s argument that rummy and poker, considered games of skill by the Supreme Court, would become games of chance when played online.

The court emphasised that the state failed to provide authentic evidence of bots being used or software manipulating the game, making the state’s claim invalid.

Authorisation of the verdict was undertaken by the Chief Justice who stated that: 

“We are now transcending into the era of digitisation and entertainment. People, instead of playing in clubs, are now playing online. With the rise of internet connectivity and technological advancements, we see a spurt in online games. Many online games are in vogue.”

The 2022 Act

The court recognised the state of Tamil Nadu’s right to regulate online games, imposing age restrictions along with setting monetary and time-related limits among others.

It was specified, however, that these regulations should be within the framework of the 2022 Act.

The verdict partially allowed writ petitions by the All India Gaming Federation and individual online gaming companies, challenging the law’s constitutional validity.

The court restricted the definition of ‘online gambling’ under Section 2(i) of the Act to games of chance and read down Section 2(l)(iv), excluding games of skill like rummy and poker.

The schedule to the Act, which categorised rummy and poker as ‘online games of chance,’ was set aside by the court when taking the verdict for this ruling.

SiGMA Europe

The ultimate conference, SiGMA Europe 2023, returns from November 13th to 17th in Malta. Experience innovation and connection at the Mediterranean Maritime Hub (MMH) during Malta Week.

Share it :

Recommended for you