Cannot provide comprehensive protection to online gaming operators while awaiting petitions: Govt.

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Court will continue to hear arguments over ways to suspend new law banning online gambling involving wagering or betting

On October 27, the state government told the Karnataka High Court that it was not possible to commit that no precipitous action would be taken against online gambling operators as long as the court reportedly failed to rule on petitions challenging the recently passed Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act 2021. , which prohibits and criminalizes online gambling, including games of skill, by risking money or otherwise.

Skill and luck

The state cannot offer comprehensive protection against the initiation of criminal proceedings under the new Act on Online Gambling Operators, as there is also gambling, and there are contentious issues regarding the current version. online skill games compared to their physical format, State Advocate- Gen. Prabhuling K. Navadgi told the court.

The GA made the oral submissions when Judge Krishna S. Dixit, who hears the petitions against the new law, said the court could consider the petitions for a final decision instead of hearing the provisional plea for the suspension of the implementation of the new law if the government was prepared to give assurances not to take hasty action by the police against the petitioners, who are online gambling operators.

Following this, the court said it would resume the hearing on October 28, limiting arguments only to the applicants’ provisional plea.

Previously, senior attorney Arvind Datar, representing the All-India Gaming Federation, argued that the state legislature does not have the power to ban skill games in online form when they are permitted. to be considered legal in physical form by the Supreme Court to interpret the laws on gambling and betting. Mr Datar said the skill and talent required by the players is the element that decides whether it is a game of chance or skill. He also said a school of thought call that online gaming affects young people and their education appears to be the reason for the new enactment although there was no clarity.

“Populism and paternalism”

Pointing out that “populism and paternalism” appeared to be at the origin of the new law, lead lawyer Abhishek M. Singivi, representing one of the petitioners, argued that the state legislature would not have may have ventured into the task of qualifying games of skill in the online format as illegal when the Supreme Court ruled decades ago that games of skill did not constitute betting or betting.


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