The status of online poker in India is again in question after the New Delhi Court on Friday demanded for the central government clarification. Earlier on 28th November the court looked into the matter in hands after the two PILs (Public Interest Litigation) were filed in the High Court. The representatives on the behalf of the court were Chief Justice DN Patel, and Justice C. Harishankar. The court has now basically left the decision to decide whether or not poker is legal in the hands of the central government.
Now, once again the debate on the skill vs. luck has resurfaced after the request has been filed demanding the clarification on the legality of poker in New Delhi. As diverse is the country, the opinions are also divided in different parts of it. In a state such as Gujarat, poker is still considered a game of chance or luck and, therefore, it is illegal in the state. While in North eastern regions such as Nagaland, the game is considered as a game of skill and hence, it is legal.
The onset of online poker and its evolution in India is marked by these opinions which are contradictory to each other in every state. However, online poker has been able to develop in the country after Nagaland created a licensing system, which made a way for local and international operators to enter into the market.
But now the ultimate decision is in the hand of the central government and it means everything will be based on the perception. While making a decision, the govt. will have to consider the factor that the majority of people in India aren’t well educated on the nuance of poker.
Now, if the New Delhi High Court brands poker as a form of gambling, then this will definitely imply it as illegal. And being the capital of the country the ruling will dominate the decision in the other parts of the country and many states would then follow the suit.
However, this will not affect its (poker) status in the states where is has already been treated as a legal form of game. But the outcome will certainly have an impact on the emerging status of online poker in India.