16 Feb 2021 faisan

Karnataka set to legislate for regulating online gambling and betting

In reference to a petition filed at the Karnataka High Court seeking to ban all forms of Online Gambling and Online Betting in the state, the court asked the government to have its stand in the matter. Subsequently, the State Government, on Tuesday, informed the court to bring legislation for regulating online gambling and betting in the state.

On Tuesday, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum granted six weeks' time to the state government to file its statement of objections. The bench noted, "AGA seeks time on the ground that a proposal to have a legislation is being placed before the cabinet. He seeks six weeks' time. State government shall place on record the decision taken by the cabinet while filing the statement of objections."

Meanwhile, appearing for The Online Rummy Federation, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi submitted that online rummy is not illegal and should not be prohibited and the federation wanted to be impleaded as respondents in the matter.

The High Court had no problem in allowing the impleadment application following Advocate Shridhar Prabhu's non-objection given Raju was appearing for the petitioner. The Court allowed the Federation to file its statement of objections to the petition within six weeks of time.

The petition nominally stated that due to a complete regulatory vacuum as far as the online betting and gambling are concerned and the absence of a regulatory body or governmental structure to regulate and monitor online gambling and betting, it has deeply affected the vulnerable sections of society, particularly the youth.

The Petitioner Sharada D R further added that High Courts of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have directed their respective jurisdictional state legislatures to explore the possibilities of regulating the regime and Karnataka can take a leaf out of that to do the needful.

"However, what holds good for the game in the offline mode may not be true for the online mode. The State has not bothered to create any monitoring mechanism to ascertain whether the online Rummy offered by various virtual gaming platforms. In fact, admittedly many other puritan games of chance are in vogue on the internet, which can be very easily accessible and played by persons of all age groups including the children. However, the State has not taken any action to regulate the same."

The case will be further heard by the High Court on March 21.

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