[Online Gaming Ban]: Supreme Court to hear appeals from Tamil Nadu & Karnataka govt today

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The appeals by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments in the Supreme Court on constitutionality of online gaming laws will be heard today by three judge bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose, Sanjay Kumar and SV Bhatti. The petitions filed by the State of Tamil Nadu and State of Karnataka assails the judgments passed by the respective High Courts striking down gaming ban laws enacted by the states. The matters were last listed in February 2023 with a direction to list the matter after four weeks.

The decision of the apex court in these matters is crucial as this will conclusively determine the fate of the online skill gaming industry.

In the last hearings, Senior advocates Mukul Rohatgi, Shyam Divan and A M Singhvi represented the gaming companies associations.

“The High Court also gravely failed to note the fact that beting or wagering on horse racing conducted only on the race track shall be permissible under the Karnataka Act, wherein the interference by authorities would effectively regulate the same, unlike the situation in online platforms,” it claimed.

In a related appeal, the Supreme Court last week directed the Andhra Pradesh High Court to consider afresh issues relating to online rummy in light of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023 notified by the Central Government.