The Delhi High Court conceded on Thursday that there is an amount of skill involved in every game at the same time as it asked the Centre and the AAP government to treat as a representation a public interest litigation (PIL). The PIL seeks to prohibit access to websites and mobile apps which are alleged to facilitate online gambling under the guise of fantasy games or games of skill.
Senior advocate Rakesh Tiku told the court that a representation was made to the Centre and Delhi government in September after which no further information had been received. The Delhi government had said the matter was forwarded to Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, who also holds the Information and Technology portfolio.
Delhi government’s standing counsel, Ramesh Singh also mentioned that a similar matter had come up last year as well and was disposed of with the direction to treat it as a representation.
The bench asked the authorities to take a decision on the representation as early as possible and practicable.
Adda52 Poker, PokerStars, Zynga Poker, Teen Patti Gold, Poker Rummy and Texas Hold’em Poker are just some of the websites and apps referred to in the petition. The petitioner argues these are games of chance and, as they involve no skill, should be prohibited under existing anti-gambling laws. However, the bench rightfully argued that, “there is some extent of skill in all of the aforementioned games.”
Moreover, the petition had also sought a direction to the Centre to “restrain broadcasters, television channels, radio, internet companies, etc. from running advertisements, campaigns, endorsements, promotional features, etc. apropos of such illegally run gaming websites and/or mobile applications insofar as it offends the provisions of the Public Gambling Act, 1867 and the Delhi Public Gambling Act, 1955”.