SC hears TN govt appeal on Madras HC decision striking down online gaming ban law, matter now posted to 22 September

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The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela Trivedi  today heard the appeal by Tamil Nadu government against the 2021 decision of the Madras High Court striking down the online gaming ban law.

In the earlier hearing on 15th September, 2023, the gaming companies and AIGF had argued that the Tamil Nadu government’s appeal has become infructuous since the state has enacted a new legislation. The new online gaming law is currently under challenge before the Madras High Court.

Mr. Amit Anand Tiwari, Additional Advocate General for state of Tamil Nadu appearing for the state government contended that the matter has not become infructuous since the issue of whether online rummy for stakes can be played for stakes has to be resolved.

Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mr. Mukul Rohatgi & Mr. C. Aryama Sundaram, Senior Counsels for gaming companies and gaming federation AIGF however once again vociferously contended that Tamil Nadu’s appeal has become infructuous.

In order to enable a more detailed examination of the matter and the prayer for dismissing Tamil Nadu government’s appeal, the matter will now listed on 22 September 2023.

The matter is also tagged with a similar appeal by the Karnataka government. While Tamil Nadu government has enacted another law, Karnataka has not done so and the appeal is expected to be heard irrespective of the result on Tamil Nadu appeal.

In a related development, the government has recently decided the GST rate of 28% for online games, lottery, and casinos. The new tax regime is expected to come into effect from October 2023.