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Karnataka HC to hear petitions challenging law banning online gambling on October 27

The federation has cited that the online gaming industry has seen investment to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore, especially through start-ups in Karnataka.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
October 25, 2021 9:47:20 am
The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021, aims to make gambling a cognisable and non-bailable offence. (Representational Photo)

The Karnataka High Court will take up a batch of petitions filed by the All India Gaming Federation and several gaming firms against a new law introduced in the state banning online gambling on October 27.

The federation and others have opposed the inclusion of online games of skill in the category of online gambling. It has argued in its petition, which was taken up last week by the Karnataka High Court, that curbs on online gaming through the efforts to regulate gambling will affect a growing gaming industry in the country.

The federation has cited that the online gaming industry has seen investment to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore, especially through start-ups in Karnataka.

In September, the Karnataka legislature passed a law to amend the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, to ban all forms of gambling, including online gambling. The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021, aims to make gambling a cognisable and non-bailable offence to “curb the menace of gaming through the Internet, mobile apps”.

It also puts betting on the skills of others in the category of gambling and states that “any act of risking money or otherwise on the unknown result of an event including on a game of skill” is an offence.

Unlike the previous law, which was not applicable to betting by players involved in a game of skill, the amended law provides an exception only to the playing of any pure game of skill and not to “wagering by persons taking part in such game of skill”.

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