CHENNAI: The e-Gaming Federation (EGF) said it would legally challenge the Tamil Nadu legislation banning online rummy and poker, noting that multiple High Courts and the Supreme Court itself had said these to be games of skill and not one of chance.
Rummy has been settled as predominantly a game of skill by the Supreme Court and held to be protected under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, said Sameer Barde, CEO of EGF, adding that bringing it under the ambit of a game of chance was directly in violation of the apex judgments and also the Madras High Court judgment which overturned the law banning online games, including rummy and poker.
“We have decided to file a lawsuit as the ordinance categorises rummy and poker as games of chance. This is in dissonance with multiple legal judicial pronouncements, including the recent judgment by the Madras High Court, which has clearly segregated games of skill and chance,” said Sameer Barde, CEO of EGF.
Barde also cited the Karnataka High Court judgment overturning the provisions of the Karnataka
Police (Amendment) Act, in February 2022. The court had then stated that games of skill do not metamorphose into ‘betting or gambling’ irrespective of whether they are played for stakes or simply because they are played online.
“For the online skill gaming industry and for Tamil Nadu, the need of the hour is a comprehensive online gaming policy that protects players and ensures that only legitimate online skill-gaming operators offer their services while weeding out the ones who break the law,” he added in a statement.