Legality

Q What is indian law’s take on online games?

A. The Central legislation governing gaming in India is the Public Gambling Act, 1867. Section 12 of the Public Gambling Act, 1867, provides that games of mere skill are exempt from the application of the Act. The Supreme Court of India and various High Courts in India have opined that a game of mere skill is a game “in which, although the element of chance necessarily cannot be entirely eliminated, success depends principally upon the superior knowledge, training, attention, experience and adroitness of the player. A game of skill is one in which the element of skill predominates over the element of chance.” No penalty can be imposed upon a person for playing such games of skill.

It may be noted that States are permitted, by the Indian Constitution, to enact laws regulating betting and gambling in their respective jurisdictions. In furtherance of these powers, various States have enacted anti-gambling legislations. Such legislations are largely in concert with the Public Gambling Act of 1867 (and include the exception of “games of skill”). Where a State legislation on gambling exists, it prevails over the Public Gambling Act of 1867. In this regard, the Assam Game and Betting Act, 1970 and Orissa (Prevention of) Gambling Act, 1955 prohibits games with money stakes and also does not create an exception for games of skill. Therefore, currently, residents of Assam and Orissa are not permitted to play on our site.
It may be noted that States are permitted, by the Indian Constitution, to enact laws regulating betting and gambling in their respective jurisdictions. In furtherance of these powers, various States have enacted anti-gambling legislations. Such legislations are largely in concert with the Public Gambling Act of 1867 (and include the exception of “games of skill”). Where a State legislation on gambling exists, it prevails over the Public Gambling Act of 1867. In this regard, the Assam Game and Betting Act, 1970 and Orissa (Prevention of) Gambling Act, 1955 prohibits games with money stakes and also does not create an exception for games of skill. Therefore, currently, residents of Assam and Orissa are not permitted to play on our site.

 

Q. “IS IT LEGAL TO PLAY ONLINE GAMES ON GOPOKER.IN?”

A. We have gone through great lengths to ensure that we remain legal and the games offered on GoPoker like Texas Holdem Poker are games which involve substantial skill.
The structure of the games offered on our web-site, which is our intellectual property, is duly supported by legislations and judicial pronouncements prevailing in India. In order to ensure that the manner in which we are offering games on our website is legal, we have got the same approved and verified by some of the leading legal jurists in India including Constitutional, Criminal and Corporate law firms and counsels.
Based upon our research, we believe that the games we offer are legal. The players are welcome to address any queries they may have by writing to our customer support.

 

Q. “IS IT LEGAL TO PLAY POKER ON GOPOKER.IN?”

A. We are supported in our view of the game of poker being a game of skill and being completely legal by various judicial pronouncements and legislative enactments. There are a number of other websites as well which have been successfully conducting the game of Poker for stake in India and they have relying upon the judicial precedents managed to overcome all legal impediments till date. This is however an ongoing process with litigations pending at various forums and we are keeping a close watch on the same. We ourselves also have a legal team working constantly on trying to ensure that there is more and more clarity and certainty in the laws qua gaming in India. We are also engaged in litigations to bring about this clarity in law and while the website has taken every precaution possible to remain absolutely legal, the players are advised to check their local laws if in doubt. We believe that we are legal based upon a catena of judgments of the Supreme Court of India starting from the Satyanarayan judgment of 1968 to the Laxmanan judgment in 1996 and the more recent judgments of various High Courts reiterating the stand. Apart from these judgments there are also legislations supporting the stand of the Company and as of today there is no restriction whatsoever from offering the aforementioned games. There are however a couple of judgments to the contrary including a recent judgment of the Chennai High Court and an opinion rendered by a Trial Court in Delhi, which are now pending before the higher forums and are under challenge. As things stand however, it would be safe to say that the games being offered by the company are legal in India and players playing on our website with or without stake are competing in a legal manner.

 

Q. ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS ON LEGALITY?

A. For any further questions or clarifications, please use the “contact us” option available on our website.

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