K’taka bans all forms of online gambling

Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said: “We are amending the Karnataka Police Act, intending to put an end to online gambling, based on the High Court directions. The cabinet has approved the amendments, it will be placed before the assembly.”

Karnataka became the third state to ban online gambling on Saturday after the state cabinet approved the decision. However, the decision does not include a ban on lottery and horse racing.

Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said: “We are amending the Karnataka Police Act, intending to put an end to online gambling, based on the High Court directions. The cabinet has approved the amendments, it will be placed before the assembly.”

He added that a draft bill proposing the ban is ready. “The draft Bill defines online games as, games involving all forms of wagering or betting including in the form of tokens valued in terms of the money paid before or after the issue of it or electronic means and virtual currency, also electronic transfer of currency in connection with any game of chance,” the minister said.

The amendment bill to this effect will be tabled in the upcoming session of the legislature starting September 13. In July, the state government informed the High Court, which is hearing a petition seeking a ban on all forms of online betting and gambling, that it had drafted a Bill.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by D R Sharada, a resident of Davanagere, in July, sought a direction to ban all forms of online gambling and online betting of any nature until an appropriate regulatory regime is established and regulations are framed.

In the affidavit filed before the HC in July, the state had said that the home department will take immediate measures to place it before the state legislature after getting approval from the cabinet. The chief secretary stated that the stand of the government on the issue will be placed before the court after the approval of the cabinet and the legislature.

Last November, Tamil Nadu had promulgated an ordinance banning online gambling, and earlier this year, Kerala had imposed a ban on online rummy games.

Source: Hindustan Times

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