A new court ruling in India has held that online 'games of skill' such as rummy and poker are legal, and has defended the fundamental rights of individuals to practice a trade comprising games of skill.

Earlier this year the Government of Tamil Nadu had passed the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 ("Amendment") amending the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930 ("Act"), prohibiting all forms of online gaming (games of skill and games of chance) in the state. This law (accessible here) removed the exemption usually accorded to games of skill from being penalised when played for wager, bet, money or other stakes. This Amendment came in on the heels of numerous similar laws in other Indian states.

This Amendment was challenged on the grounds that it was unconstitutional, and on August 3, 2021, the Madras High Court ("Madras HC") in the matter of Junglee Games India Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. v The State of Tamil Nadu & Ors, struck it down in its entirety.

A copy of the Madras HC's judgement can be accessed here.

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