6 Nov 2022 faisan

States pushing centre to impose a complete ban on online betting

Karnataka and other states are continuously pushing the central government to impose a law outlawing online gaming with stakes on the grounds that it is ruining the lives of people, particularly young people. In a two day meeting held in Ekta Nagar, Gujarat back in October, the request was made by state’s law ministers and secretaries.

MPs of various states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc claimed that a large number of young people are committing suicides after losing a lot of money in these online betting websites.

"As the Center is aware of the negative consequences of online gambling on society, Kiran Rijiju, the Union's minister of law, positively responded to the request," according to JC Madhuswamy, a minister of law and parliamentary affairs from Karnataka who attended the conference as reported by The Hans India.

JC Madhuswamy also asserted that the only way to control online betting and gambling is for the Parliament to enforce a central law because efforts by individual states have fallen short of judicial scrutiny.

"The governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had passed laws banning online games including betting and wagering, but the high courts in those states struck down those laws on the grounds that they violated the constitution," Madhuswamy said as reported by The Hans India.

The Karnataka Police Amendment Act 2021, which outlawed and classified as a crime all online games with stakes, was overturned by the Karnataka High Court earlier this year in February. The Karnataka High Court further stated that even though the two are fundamentally dissimilar, the law treats both ‘Game of Skill’ and ‘Game of Chance’ as one.

The MK Stalin-led government passed a similar law which was overturned by the Madras High Court. Under the examination of Justice K Chandru, the Tamil Nadu government established a panel which will examine the negative consequences of online gaming with stakes while challenging the verdict in the Supreme Court.

The committee also suggested a complete ban on online betting and also the advertisements promoting its use. If reports are to be believed, the same is being planned by the Tamil Nadu government.

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