Online gaming and gambling laws in India are outdated and need to be re-enacted. They have not been able to cope up with the ambitions and entrepreneurship initiatives of various online gaming stakeholders in India. Online gaming industry of India is fast maturing but the laws in this regard are not adequate. After many rounds of litigation, the matter has finally reached to the hearing stage at Supreme Court of India. The decision of Indian Supreme Court may establish legality or illegality of online games like rummy, poker, etc.
According to New Delhi based techno legal ICT law firm Perry4Law, online rummy and online poker may still be illegal and punishable despite this judgement of Supreme Court. This is because Indian Supreme Court is not dealing with the legality of online rummy and online poker in strict and absolute sense. As a result the legal position in this field would remain a grey area. In fact, a decision by Supreme Court without any legislative support may be counterproductive, opines Perry4Law.
Even Supreme Court is aware of this situation and this is the reason why it has asked the central government to clarify its stand on the legality or illegality of online games like online rummy, online poker, etc in India. As on date, both third parties and the parties to the litigation are in a legally risky position. The next hearing of the matter has been fixed for September 25, 2014
There are no specific laws for online rummy and online poker in India. At times it is very difficult to decide whether it is legal or not to play online poker in India and what are the legal obligations of running an online poker websites in India. There are many legal risks even for websites companies developing online gaming websites in India. Taxation issues of online poker in India are also required to be sorted out as soon as possible.
It would be in the interest of all the stakeholders if Indian government brings clarity and uniformity in the online gaming legal framework of India, opines Perry4Law.
Source: Techno Legal Thoughts.