TN amendment prohibiting poker & rummy games overturned by HC

The Madras high court on Tuesday knocked down an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act that outlawed internet games like as online rummy and online poker with stakes, giving online gaming a boost. In November 2020, the previous AIADMK administration passed an ordinance that was eventually accepted as the Amendment Act, which the court said was extra vires the Constitution.

The first bench, made up of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy, held that by imposing a broad-based blanket prohibition, the state has failed to fulfil the “least intrusive” measure test, and so the challenged amendment violates Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.

The bench passed the orders on a batch of pleas moved by online gaming companies challenging the amendment. The court said that the legislation “has to be regarded as something done by the legislature capriciously, irrationally and without adequate determining principle such that it is excessive and disproportionate…”