“We are surprised and disappointed by the Ordinance issued by the Government of Tamil Nadu which classifies Rummy as a game of chance. Being a game of skills, Rummy has been ruled by the Supreme Court and deemed a protected trade under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution,” he said in a statement.
Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi’s nod to ban online gaming and regulate such companies follows a cabinet decision to go the ordinance route to crack down on online gaming involving gambling, acting in a report. of a committee headed by a retired judge that was addictive. behavior, debt cheating, and suicides caused by playing games that involve gambling online.
On online rummy, the report stressed that developers know the algorithms, which makes the code “pseudo-random”, adding that there has always been the possibility of implementing bots to interact with users.
“There is no mechanism available to audit the centralized server architecture of gaming systems,” said the government notice published on Friday, referencing the report.
Barde said that Tamil Nadu including Rummy in the scope of a game of chance is in direct violation of the Supreme Court rulings and the recent ruling of the Madras High Court, which annulled the law banning online games, including Rummy.
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“In its detailed judgment, the Hon’ble Madras High Court reaffirmed the preponderance test to distinguish between games of skill and games of chance, especially in the context of rummy, reinforcing that both rummy and poker are games of skill.”
He added that his organization was reviewing the Ordinance and would take appropriate action in due course.
There has been much deliberation over the structuring of online gambling policies, as well as simultaneous crackdowns on gambling companies over allegations of tax fraud.
Last month, ET reported that the income tax department issued justification notices to seven online gaming companies and some three dozen high-value players active on their portals.
The potential tax evasion in these cases was expected to be around Rs 28,000 crore, the sources told ET. Income tax authorities discovered in February an online gaming portal with 8 million registered players and gross winnings of around Rs 58,000 crore over a three-year period.
In September, a government panel suggested India should create a regulatory body to classify online games based on skill or chance, introduce rules to block banned formats and take a tougher stance on gambling websites.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s panel of senior officials has been drafting regulations for the country’s online gaming sector for months, where foreign investors such as Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital have backed gaming startups Dream11 and Mobile Premier League, very popular for fantasy cricket.
The Central Board of Direct Taxation is also drawing up detailed guidelines on the taxation of the online gaming sector to clear up any ambiguities regarding taxes. Gross earnings face a flat 30% tax. Gaming portals are required to deduct tax at the source at the rate of 0.1% for winnings over Rs 10,000.