EU government plans ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to online gambling regulation

The IT minister’s statement followed a letter written by the CM of Andhra Pradesh asking the government to ban online gambling sites over concerns about drug addiction and suicide.

You read it here first: The Union government is considering a “one size fits all” approach to regulating online and real money gambling, according to a letter from the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology obtained by MediaNama. In the letter, written to Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Minister of Informatics Ashwini Vaishnaw said that “the subject of ‘betting and games of chance’ falls within the competence of state governments. under entries 34 and 62 of List II of the Seventh Annex. of the Constitution of India ”, but that“ the government is aware of the problems which arise due to the different laws in different states in the field of the regulation of online gambling and that the matter is under consideration to have a uniform approach on this issue. ”

This recognition – that the government is considering a centralized approach to regulating gambling and betting sites – is important. While states have changed their local gambling laws to regulate (or ban) online gambling and sites, the betting and gambling industry has obtained court orders (like the one issued by Madras High Court) which made it difficult for states to restrict gambling. and betting activities that require some skill. The Prime Minister’s Office has expressed interest in the matter, indicating that there may be movement on this front. It is not clear what action the government would decide on – its actions could range from “model lawThat states could choose to emulate, to a constitutional amendment that would give it more powers to regulate online gambling.

“IT rules contain anti-gambling provisions”

Vaishnaw was responding to an October 2020 letter written by Reddy to then IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, asking the central government to ban online betting and gambling sites in Andhra Pradesh. Vaishnaw, whose response is dated Aug. 3, said that while he understood Reddy’s concerns – the CM had linked these platforms to “suicides due to loss of money, severe addiction, and poor behavior. resulting violent “- the blockade could only be carried out by the central government” in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the defense of India, the security of India. State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order to prevent incitement to the commission of any offense recognized above ”.

Reddy had argued that the law passed by the government of Andhra Pradesh to regulate these platforms had even made it illegal to promote or facilitate gambling activities and that Internet service providers could be considered to facilitate gambling by allowing access to these Site (s. “The 2021 Information Technology Rules (Intermediary Guidelines and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) notified under Article 79 of the Law require intermediaries to exercise due diligence in informing about do not publish information encouraging money laundering or gambling and the notice may be issued by the competent authority. Govt. / his agency, ”Vaishnaw replied. ISPs fall under the definition of intermediaries.

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The Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act 2020 (Amendment) criminalized gambling to the extent of a recognized offense, with players potentially liable to six months in prison and organizers for one year. Fantasy league games weren’t banned, but games like rummy and poker were. Real money gaming platform operators – we do not know which ones – in November 2020 approach the Andhra Pradesh High Court to challenge the order, the New Indian Express had reported, and are represented by attorney Abhishek Manu Singhvi. Hearings in this case are ongoing.

Full letter

The following is the full text of IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s response to the letter from Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

03 AUG 2021

Dear Shri YS Jagan Mohan Reddy Ji,

Please refer to your DO n ° 70 / CM / PRL of 27.10.2020, addressed to my predecessor, requesting the prohibition of online games, online gambling and online betting sites.

Right off the bat, I understand the concerns you raised. The subject of “betting and games of chance” falls within the competence of state governments under entries 34 and 62 of List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India. States, including Andhra Pradesh, have enacted their own legislation to regulate betting and gambling.

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Regarding the blocking of sites / applications, the 2000 law on information technology provides for the blocking of information for public access only under specific conditions, i.e. in the interest sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, state security, friendly relations with foreign states or public order to prevent incitement to commission of any breach recognized above. The state of Andhra Pradesh has already appointed a nodal officer who worked with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on blocking based on 69A. In addition, the 2021 Information Technology Rules (Intermediary Guidelines and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) notified under Article 79 of the Law require intermediaries to exercise due diligence in advising not to publish information encouraging money laundering or gambling and the notice may be issued by the appropriate government. / his agency.

In addition, the government is aware of the problems that arise due to the different laws in different states in the field of online gambling regulation and the matter is being studied to have a uniform approach on this matter.

Regards,

Regards,

[signed]

(Ashwini Vaishnaw)

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