Karnataka Government withdrew the permission to conduct online betting given earlier to the Bangalore Turf Club.
The statement signed by K Savithramma, Under Secretary to the Government, Finance Department of the state, stated, “I am directed to inform you that in-principle approval accorded by Government to conduct online betting vide letter cited under reference is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect."
The Government's decision on the permission is a big blow to the horse racing clubs in Karnataka. In July this year, the Bangalore Turf Club received permission from the state government to carry out online betting. The BTC started its online betting operations on November 21. This was a welcome move by many, as many punters are unable to participate in on-course betting at BTC due to the pandemic. The summer season at BTC was also cancelled due to the pandemic.
The withdrawal of permission for online betting comes a day after the Karnataka government withheld the permission till the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Bengaluru resident C Gopal in November is disposed off by the Karnataka High Court. The PIL argues about the adverse effects of online gambling and betting on youngsters and people from rural backgrounds.
"It was (online betting) picking up. One way to look at it is it will help us rebuild the app and sort out the technical problems till the issue gets a solution," said a BTC representative, as per a report in Deccan Herald.
The Karnataka High Court recently ordered notice to the state government on a PIL seeking direction to ban online gamling and betting until proper regulations for the same are put in place in the state.
The report in Deccan Herald states that the Mysore Race Club Ltd, too might continue just with on-course betting.
The turf club operators are now concerned that with this move, punters will move on to other apps and websites for online betting, putting the Indian turf clubs back in a dire economic situation.