Madras High Court Rules Law Against Online Rummy and Poker Unconstitutional

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The Madras High Court has lifted the ban on online rummy and poker in Tamil Nadu, recognizing them as games of skill rather than games of chance. In a decision that has been welcomed by the gaming industry, Chief Justice Sanjay Gangapurwala and Justice Audikesavulu of the Madras HC bench emphasized that the state government has the authority to impose regulations on online games, such as limiting the time spent on them or imposing age restrictions.

This is the second time that the Tamil Nadu government’s ban on online rummy and poker has been overturned by the Madras High Court. Online gaming companies have been vocal about the legitimacy of their platforms, highlighting their compliance with GST and ethical business practices. They have also stressed the difference between regulation and outright prohibition of online games.

The state government argued that no players affected by the ban had come forward to contest it in court and that the legal action was initiated only by the companies profiting from these games. However, the court’s decision has been seen as a major victory for the legality of these games.

Earlier in the year, leading online gaming companies like GamesKraft, Play24x7, and Head Digital, with the support of the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), had challenged the ban, claiming that their online offerings constitute games of skill. As India aims for a $5 trillion digital economy by 2025, the burgeoning online gaming sector is expected to play a crucial role in shaping the economy.

The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and gaming companies have been commended for their persistent efforts, with Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF, being praised for his positive outlook on this landmark decision. This decision is expected to bring relief to the gaming industry and open up new opportunities for growth and innovation.

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