In the case of Akshay Anant Matkar vs State of Maharashtra, a police search followed the filing of an FIR on November 15, 2022, at a public location in Satara district where a man named Satish Botalji was allegedly collecting money from customers based on computerised numbers. According to the police, Botalji violated the terms of the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887 by operating an internet gaming or gambling site without a valid permit.
whether the win wingame is actually a game of skill or a game of mere chance
The petitioner claimed that the instruction manual for the game Wingame demonstrates that the player must solve mathematical quizzes based on various combinations of geometric figures that are given specific values. Based on the equations, a mathematical solution must be found, and the solution must be provided in the form of a multiple-choice question. The player proceeds through the game’s levels once the action is completed in a timely way; as a result, it is a skill-based game and does not fall under the gambling prohibited by the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.
Analysis of Order
The division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and MM Sathaye Bombay High Court quashed a First Information Report (FIR) lodged against Wingame Enterprises proprietor Akshay Matkar booked for gambling’ under the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887.
The bench looked at the game’s user manual, which revealed that a player had to solve mathematical puzzles based on various combinations of geometric figures that were given specific values. Based on the equations, a mathematical answer was to be found and the answer was to be given in the form of MCQ. This meant that the game was one of skill rather than chance and did not fall under the definition of gambling.
The bench believed that wingame required mathematical competence rather than being a gaming of chance. In addition to the aforementioned skill, it is also necessary to have the capacity to observe and solve mathematical equations quickly. The bench added that “wagering or betting” is not required for an activity to fall under the definition of “gambling” in the case of online gaming.
The panel ruled that the FIR should be quashed because, based on the facts and circumstances of the case, no offence is supported by the claims in the FIR as they currently stand, and subjecting the Petitioners to a trial would be an abuse of the legal system.