Indian Judiciary Rules in Favor of Online Poker in Tamil Nadu State

Indian High Court recognized poker and rummy as intellectual card games

Last week, the High Court of the Indian city of Chennai, which operates in the state of Tamil Nadu (Madras), decided to "go against the system". Earlier the state's local government insisted on a total ban on all forms of gambling, mainly due to the harm of large losses to health and the increase in the number of suicides among players. But now, despite pressure from officials, the court opened the door to poker and rummy (a popular card game in India), removed them from the banned list and officially recognized them as games of skill.

Local representatives of the Indian Gambling Federation have already expressed the view that the move will help stabilize and expand the flow of investment into the Indian online poker industry. It is important to note that the population of the state of Tamil Nadu is about 72 million people.

"We are deeply grateful for this historic decision by the esteemed High Court, which highlights the difference between games of skill and luck," said AIGF CEO Roland Landers.

The decision of the Court was issued with some conditions. In the field of online poker and rummy, Tamil Nadu authorities have retained the right to regulate the minimum age of customers, session time and other factors.

The move could potentially be a powerful push for large-scale legalization of online poker in a country of more than 1.4 billion people. Currently, Internet play is only allowed in a few states where players are served by rooms such as PokerStars, Natural8 and adda52.

As for offline, live play has also been gaining popularity in recent years. April's WPT Prime India event in Goa made a field of 857 players and champion Prasit Chowdhury took home $105,000.

Also, professionals from India quite often make headlines with their big victories all over the world, for example, a businessman recently won the most expensive event at the series in Rozvadov.

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