The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) contends that the recently enacted ban on online gaming in Tamil Nadu is misguided as it fails to differentiate between games of skill and gambling.
AIGF, the All India Gaming Federation, has announced its plans to legally challenge the recently passed bill that bans online gaming in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. According to AIGF CEO Roland Landers, the organisation will contest the legality of the legislation, asserting that it wrongly categorise games of skill as games of chance.
Landers expressed concern about the wide-ranging implications of the bill, stating that it would effectively prohibit numerous skill-based games. He expressed confidence in the Indian judicial system, stating, “We have full faith that our judicial system will uphold the fundamental rights of the gaming platforms and their users.”
Landers further commented, expressing disappointment in the disregard for the established legal jurisprudence of the past six decades, as well as the recent ruling by the Madras High Court that struck down a similar law. He highlighted that the Central government has already notified rules for online games and has the rightful mandate under the Indian Constitution to regulate online gaming, emphasising the inconsistency of the newly approved bill with existing legal frameworks.
“This is disappointing as it disregards the six decades of established legal jurisprudence and also the recent judgment of the Madras High Court which struck down a similar law. The Central government has anyway notified online games rules, and as we have said, the Central government has the rightful mandate under the Indian Constitution to regulate online gaming.”
AIGF had previously been in communication with the Tamil Nadu government, urging them to take action against illegal offshore betting websites, which they argued would proliferate if Indian apps were banned. Landers dismissed the notion of waiting for a Supreme Court decision, stating that the High Court’s decision to strike down a similar law was intended to favor gambling operators and platforms. He emphasised the need for a comprehensive and well-thought-out approach towards online gaming regulation, rather than a blanket ban that could have unintended consequences.
Landers reiterated that as the oldest and largest industry body representing a significant number of Indian MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) startups in the gaming sector, AIGF will challenge the constitutionality of the law once the effective date is notified. He expressed confidence in the Indian judicial system, stating that it will uphold the fundamental rights of gaming platforms and their users. AIGF is determined to advocate for the rights of the gaming industry and seek a fair and just resolution through legal means.
“As the oldest and largest industry body, representing the most number of Indian MSME start-ups, we will challenge the constitutionality of the law, once the effective date is notified. Our judicial system will uphold the fundamental rights of the gaming platforms and their users.”
The bill banning online gaming in Tamil Nadu was approved by the state governor after being passed by the state assembly for a second time. It’s worth noting that the governor had previously declined to sign the bill during its first passage. However, the bill has now been approved and is set to become effective once the effective date is notified.