Tamil Nadu government accused of ignoring ruling on online rummy

In April, Tamil Nadu's governor approved a ban on online gambling
In April, Tamil Nadu's governor approved a ban on online gambling

Lawyers argue that the state government cannot ban online rummy as it is a game of skill.

India.- In an ongoing legal dispute between the Tamil Nadu state government and online gaming companies, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, representing Junglee Rummy, A23, and Games24x7, has accused the government of disregarding the judgments passed by the Supreme Court. This includes the court’s ruling that declared rummy as a game of skill. 

In April, Tamil Nadu’s governor approved a ban on online gambling, including rummy. However, Rohatgi has questioned the state’s authority to enact the legislation, asserting that such power lies solely with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY )

Rohatgi said: “The sole question, in this case, is whether online rummy and poker are games of chance or games of skill. It has been held over the last 50 years that they are games of skill.” He highlighted that the status of rummy as a game of skill has been unequivocally established under Article 141 of the Constitution, which pertains to the law declared by the Supreme Court.

Rohatgi had previously argued that online games like rummy and poker are games of skill and that bans on online rummy passed by the Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala governments had been struck down.

Rohatgi’s arguments were echoed by senior counsel C. Aryama Sundaram, representing the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF). Sundaram said AIGF members offer games of skill and operate as a self-regulatory body.

Senior attorney Sajan Poovayya contended that since MeitY has already announced amendments to online gaming rules to regulate the industry, the state government lacks the authority to establish separate legislation on the matter.

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