4 Nov 2020

Karnataka High Court Challenges Decision to Allow Online Betting

Karnataka High Court Challenges Decision to Allow Online Betting

On Tuesday, the Karnataka High Court issued notice in a plea that challenged the permission granted to the Bangalore Turf Club to allow online betting.

The state government has approved the move, along with allowing the use of digital payment methods as an option for placing bets.

Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa granted approval to the plans on May 29, and the Turf Club had been planning to start online betting by the end of October 2020.

Issuing the notice, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty questioned the state government on the law based on which it allowed the respondents to conduct online betting.

The plea states: "The Gambling and Betting involves high risks as the outcome is uncertain, the mode of transaction involves money, property and with the revolution of internet technology, new dimensions have been opened up to process the mode of payment in the same and the Respondent No.3 is banking on the same to increase its revenue by spreading its tentacle beyond the limits at the cost of the society/public at large and making hectic efforts reach all sectors of people, students, youths, kids etc., with an intention to make profit and gain wrongfully."

The petitioner C Gopal argues that many states have put an end to online betting and gambling for public welfare reasons. The Karnataka government had earlier banned online and other types of lotteries in 2007.

The petitioner also refers to a report by the Law Commission of India regarding the legalisation of gambling in India. The report concludes that gambling is a social evil that has been looked down upon by society.

The PIL also submits that the State is bound to educate the society with respect to the ill-effects of gambling, but is making efforts to gain wrongfully at great cost of the public.

Under all these considerations, the plea seeks to quash the state government permission dated May 29 granting permission to the Turf Club to conduct online betting.

Karnataka has been in the news regarding gambling developments in recent months. In August, the government announced that it was considering regulating online gambling.

And in October, BJP MP K C Ramamurthy demanded a ban on online rummy, citing youth addiction and a rise in related crime.

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