New Delhi, Oct 8 (PTI) There is some amount of skill involved in every game, the Delhi High Court observed on Thursday while asking the Centre and the AAP government to treat as a representation a PIL seeking to prohibit access to websites and apps which allegedly facilitate online gambling under the garb of fantasy gaming or game of skills.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan told the petitioner, a lawyer, that let the representation be decided first.
Senior advocate Rakesh Tiku, appearing for petitioner Tarun Chandiok, told the court that a representation was made to the Centre and Delhi government in September and the latter had responded by saying that the matter has been forwarded to Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot who also holds the Information and Technology portfolio.
Thereafter, no information was received, he added.
Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh told the court that it had already dealt with a similar matter last year by disposing it of with the direction to treat it as a representation.
The bench, thereafter, asked that the instant plea, filed through advocate Varun Chandiok, be also treated as a representation and the petitioner's grievances be decided in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case.
It asked the authorities to take a decision on the representation as early as possible and practicable.
Some of the mobile gaming apps, which allegedly facilitate online gambling, that have been referred to in the petition are -- Adda52 Poker, PokerStars, Zynga Poker, Teen Patti Gold, Poker Rummy and Texas Hold'em Poker.
The petitioner has contended that these are games of chance and involve no skill and therefore, ought to be prohibited in accordance with the anti-gambling laws.
However, the bench observed, 'There is some amount of skill involved in every game.' 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'.
It had also sought initiation of penal action under the provisions of the two Acts against the violators/ offenders.
It had further sought formulation of a policy and to constitute a Gaming Commission to regulate and redress the grievances of online players.
The petition has contended that the gaming websites and mobile applications run by certain individuals /companies/juristic entities in the name of online fantasy gaming, game of skill or skill monetisation contrives the provisions of the two Acts. PTI HMP SKV SA