TN: Madras HC adjourns the matter on petition by online gaming cos; next hearing on August 14

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Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, representing the state of Tamil Nadu at Madras High Court (HC), has put forward new arguments on the petition filed by online gaming companies against the state banning online gaming.

In the latest hearing on the matter, Sibal has contented the claims of online gaming firms on three important points. These include difference between physical and virtual rummy, companies charging commission on the total prize pool, and who filed the petition.

As per One India Tamil, talking about the difference, Sibal stated that physical and virtual rummy are very different from each other. He argued that in virtual rummy, the game is operated using artificial intelligence, working of which is not revealed by the companies.

The online gaming companies also charge commission on the total prize pool, which is not permitted. Also, the state covers all betting and gambling activities regardless of the activity being skill or chance and can prohibit these activities keeping public order and public health in mind.

Lastly, Sibal argued that the petition has to be filed by the individuals and not by the companies as such, their arguments are not valid. He further requested the court to list the matter on 14th August as it will give more time to complete submissions.

Matter adjourned till August 14

Accepting the request, the honourable High Court will hear the matter again on August 14. The Chief Justice has also asked all arguments to be completed by August 24, 2023. The initial hearing was planned for August 1, but was shifted to August 7 after Sibal was not able to attend the hearing.

In the previous hearing, the bench representing online gaming companies claimed that the state does not have the authority to ban online games. Further, they also claimed that the state’s act of differentiating between physical and online rummy is invalid.