Industry reacts to Madras HC’s verdict on online rummy bo ban in state

Madras High Court’s latest verdict uplifting the ban on online rummy bo in Tamil Nadu came as a landmark judgement. It proved the validity of online skill gaming industry and how it is distinct from online gambling games.

The case that has been dragging on since the last few months has finally reached its conclusion. This, however, was not the first time skill gaming industry triumphed over the scrutiny of state government. Back in 2021, a similar decision was made by the Hon’ble High Court.

With the Madras High Court’s judgment, prominent people from the gaming industry were quick to react on the landmark decision that uplifted the ban on skill-based gaming industry in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Here are some of the industry reactions from experts and stakeholders:
Jay Sayta, Technology & Gaming Lawyer –
“Online rummy and poker companies have immediately resumed offering services in Tamil Nadu. While the full copy of the judgment is awaited, the operative portion of the order (as announced in open court) is a reiteration of the well-established principle and several recent High Court judgments that games of skill, whether played online or offline, with stakes or otherwise, cannot be banned by states. Tamil Nadu government may file an appeal in the Supreme Court, the apex court is already seized with similar appeals by Tamil Nadu government (on an earlier law that was struck down) and the Karnataka government.”

“The earlier appeals of the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments have already been admitted and listed for hearing on 7th December. It is expected that all appeals on the question of whether online games played for stakes can be banned will be heard together by the Supreme Court in due course.”

Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation –
“We are truly grateful for this landmark decision by the Hon’ble Madras High Court upholding the difference between games of skill and chance in line with over six decades of jurisprudence on the subject.”

“By reiterating that online rummy and online poker are games of skill, this decision by the Madras High Court is yet another validation of what the online skill gaming industry has always maintained in relation to online skill games being a legitimate business activity protected under the Constitution of India. This also adds to a long line of judgments from the Supreme Court, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu High Courts upholding the legitimacy of such games.”

“Being the apex industry body for online skill gaming and the voice of the MSME gaming startups, we at AIGF believe that this decision will be a great boost for this sunrise sector and generate more certainty among investors and the gaming community at large, and is a step in the right direction for this sunrise sector.”

Anuraag Saxena, CEO, E-Gaming Federation –
“The verdict today by the Hon’ble Madras High Court holding online Rummy and Poker as games of skill is yet another validation for the legitimate online skill gaming industry. Time and again, the Indian judiciary has struck down provisions seeking blanket prohibitions on skill gaming as Ultra Vires in the constitution. A forward-looking policy has the potential to significantly drive and support the growth of this emerging sector. Central as well as state governments have realized the sector’s potential as an employment and revenue generator, and this decision will further investor confidence, encourage and foster innovation. As an industry, we are optimistic that judgements like this will urge state governments to explore more progressive policy frameworks and regulatory structures for the sector.” (junglee rummy)

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