- Gambling or Gaming has been defined by the Supreme Court in 1996 as betting and wagering on games of chance only. The Supreme Court in this judgment specifically excludes games of skill, irrespective of whether they are played for money or not, from the definition of gambling. The exact quote from the 1996 judgment is as follows:
"The expression 'gaming' in the two acts has to be interpreted in the light of the law laid-down by this Court in the 1957 two cases, wherein it has been authoritatively held that a competition which substantially depends on skill is not gambling. Gaming is the act or practice of gambling on a game of chance. It is staking on chance where chance is the controlling factor. 'Gaming' in the two acts would, therefore, mean wagering or betting on games of chance. It would not include games of skill like horse racing"
Further, the Public Gambling Act, which is the central law on gambling and most subsequent state laws on the subject substantially state that "nothing in this Act shall apply to games of mere skill wherever played". This is also mentioned in the 1996 Supreme Court judgment with regards Tamil Nadu and Madras laws.
"In any case... Section 11 of the Gaming Act specifically saves the games of mere skill from the penal provisions of the two Acts."