All India Gaming Federation moves Madras High Court challenging TN ordinance banning online games

The petitioner claimed that online games such as poker and rummy are games of skill and not games of chance, and thus, should not have been banned.
Madras High Court and Online games
Madras High Court and Online games

A plea has been filed before the Madras High Court by the All India Gaming Federation challenging the Tamil Nadu (TN) government's recent ordinance banning all forms of online games.

When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, a bench of acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy said that it will hear the plea on November 16 along with three other petitions filed on the same issue.

In the present plea, the Federation has challenged the constitutional validity of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance, 2022.

The petitioner has also sought interim relief by staying the implementation. 

The plea, filed through the Federation's general secretary Sunil Krishnamurthy, claimed that in India only 'games of chance' and not 'games of skill' can be banned.

It said that the TN government had wrongly classified games such as rummy and poker, which require skill, as games of chance.

This was done so that such games could be banned through the new ordinance.

The Federation also said in its plea that it made constant efforts to ensure online gaming is conducted ethically.

All its members and online gaming companies are required to follow a charter that mandate among other things, that players be warned against the deleterious effects of gaming including addiction, the petitioner pointed out.

Senior advocate Satish Parasaran and advocate Rahul Unnikrishnan appeared for the petitioner Federation.

TN Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram appeared for the state government.

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