Delhi Court Rules Poker and Chess Under Certain Circumstances

A court in Delhi has ruled that games such as poker and chess, as well as sports betting options played online for money are illegal. The court ruled that any such games involving the passage of funds will not be protected under the constitution.

District Judge Ina Malhotra passed the order on September 17th and the ruling was published this past Monday. The judge stated that games of skilled offered at such sites that have the games for money cannot be held legal and banks can choose to refuse to provide standard services for such sites. The court stated: “Sports betting is an offence in India and bookies earning money from bets laid on games of skill cannot be granted protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the constitution (right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation)”.

The court made the observation based on the petition by the company which was seeking an opinion on several aspects including betting on games of skill online as well as wagering. The company is comprised of former students of the Indian Institute of Technology.

The company was proposing a launch of a new website which would feature six games and each of the games is considered a game of skill. The officials behind the company wanted to organize the games and be able to offer wagering.  The group wanted to be sure that they were not violating any laws in this process.

The court initially ruled: “So, while betting or playing for money among players on a game of golf, chess, bridge or billiards may be permitted, they cannot be considered legal if operated by a gaming house.” So for now, the company is going to have to reconfigure their business plan as the government is not in favor of their business plan.

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