Madras HC allows state govt to justify gambling ban in 20 more days

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The Madras High Court on Saturday, June 10, has provided a 20-days time to the Tamil Nadu state government in order to respond to the multiple pleas challenging the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, leading to a ban on online rummy and other similar games.

A counsel representing the online gaming companies revealed that the state government had not yet submitted a reply when the petition was up for hearing on Friday. The state government asked for time till June 30 to file a response.

All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) also filed a plea asking for interim protection to gaming companies, but the plea was denied by the HC on April 27 claiming that it cannot take a decision without hearing the response from the state government.

According to The Times of India report, the state argued that the court should weigh the interests of Tamil Nadu’s citizens against the commercial interests of gambling businesses. Furthermore, it also pointed out that these games are destroying families leading to people committing suicide.

While the online gaming firms argued that the new law banning online games does not differentiate between games of skill and games of chance despite the Supreme Court stating games of skill as a legal business activity.

The pleas also argued that the state cannot form law on betting and gambling, but senior counsel Kapil Sibal representing the state said that under Entry 34 List 2, centre can make intermediary guidelines, and the state can make laws.

As of now, online gaming companies proving real money games (RMGs) in the southern state have geo-blocked their services in the state in order to prevent the citizens from accessing the games.

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