The plea filed by Mumbai-based All India Gaming Federation came up for hearing before the first bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy and the hearing was adjourned to November 16. The validity of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance, 2022 has been called into question.
The petitioner-federation said it had been working to ensure that online gaming was carried on in an ethical and responsible manner and that all its members were required to follow a charter that permitted them to offer only skill-based games and not games of chance.
This apart, the rule also mandates that the games should not be offered to those below 18 years of age and those residing outside the country.
“Our members are required to inform the players about responsible gaming and warn them against the deleterious effects of gaming. We also insist on making available self-administered tests for addiction for the gamers on the online platform,” the federation said.
While so, the state government amended the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act in 2021 and banned even games of skill such as rummy and poker if they were played for wager, bet, money or other stakes. Subsequently, in August 2021 allowing a batch of pleas moved against the amendment, a division bench of this court struck down the amendment.
Now, after the change of regime in the state, the new government has promulgated the present ordinance specifically categorizing rummy and poker as games of chance and banned the games online.