Karnataka HC urges state government to regulate online gambling: report

The High Court of Karnataka again pushed the state government to make a decision on how the state will treat online betting and gambling services, LiveLaw reported. In February, the state government told the court in a brief that it would pass legislation to regulate the industry.

The court’s boost came in response to a petition that highlights the regulatory vacuum when it comes to online gambling. Sharada DR, the petitioner, made a representation to the state government in September last year and followed it in October with a recall. But they have not received a response. Subsequently, the petitioner filed a petition with the High Court, requesting a ban on online gambling and betting.

The state government has said people from any part of the world can gamble online, and the deal could make central government a necessary part. The High Court rejected this argument and ordered the state government to decide on Sharada DR’s representation.

According to LiveLaw, the petitioner’s concerns are as follows:

  1. The high courts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have called on their states to explore the regulation of online gambling.
  2. Karnataka has no mechanism to monitor whether a game or activity involves skill or chance. Offline rummy is a game of skill, but what is true for offline mode games may not be true for online mode.
  3. Many games are trendy, easily accessible, and can be played by all children, in the absence of regulations.
  4. The pandemic has increased the use of these services, leading several states to recently ban or regulate online gambling and betting. This includes a decision by the Kerala government to ban online rummy.

The court also cleared the incriminated claims filed by All India Gaming Federation and The Online Rummy Federation.

More recently, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have tightened gambling laws to bring online gambling within the scope of the law. Andhra Pradesh has banned all gambling involving stakes, whether based on skill or chance, as Tamil Nadu has done. Kerala amended its gambling law to remove a provision that declares rummy to be a game of skill. Other states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh are also considering restrictions on real money online gambling, gambling and betting. The Meghalaya has done the opposite, it has created a licensing and regulatory regime that allows all games of skill and chance to collect a little more tax revenue.

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