Online poker gaming may be in trouble in India as the New Delhi High Court has asked for government clarification regarding the option. Online poker is already complicated in India, and after the submission of two Public Interest Litigations, High Court representatives stated on November 28th that the government needs to decide if poker is legal or illegal.
Skill Vs. Luck Debate
For years, the game of poker has been subject to the skill vs. luck debate. Is the game one that requires skill or luck to win? The definition often causes the game to be considered legal or illegal depending on where the debate is taking place.
States in India like Gujarat consider poker a game of chance, so it is illegal. Other regions consider the game one of skill, so it is legalized. The states differing opinions has created a characterization regarding live and online the country for several years. Where the game is considered illegal, poker games are constantly being broken up or are don’t exist at all.
For online poker, Nagaland created a licensing system where local and international operators have a way to offer services. Servers are placed in states where online poker is legal and operators like PokerStars can provide gaming options.
The New Delhi High Court commented on the online poker industry and wants the local as well as central government to determine the definition of poker. They stated that action can only be taken if a site is hosted from the New Delhi region. The court can act against live venues where poker is operational, but they cannot do anything to stop online poker where the gaming is based in other states.
We shall see in the coming weeks if the government decides to intervene and rule whether or not poker is considered a game of skill or luck. For now though, the online gaming sites will continue operating per usual.