Companies to challenge Karnataka online gambling ban

The state of Karnataka has banned online gambling.
The state of Karnataka has banned online gambling.

Roland Landers, AIGF CEO, has said the industry will go to court to challenge the banning of online gambling in the state of Karnataka.

India.- Criticism of the state of Karnataka’s amendment banning all forms of gambling continues with some industry players now planning to take legal action.

Several companies have criticised the amendment, arguing that it would damage the state’s standing as a tech centre and start-up capital. Roland Landers, AIGF CEO, who has complained that the bill makes no distinction between online gambling and online games of skill, is now considering looking for legal recourse.

Biren Ghose, the chairman of the CII’s National Committee on AVGC and president of the Association of Bangalore Animation Industry (ABAI) said: “The current bill that Karnataka has passed banning online games is a massive blow to the fastest growing sector in Indian entertainment.”

According to Hindustan Times, companies want the government “to frame a set of rules in consultation with the industry in order to ensure that legitimate games of skills do not fall under the purview of such a ban.”

There is hope for the industry as the Madras High Court struck down the bill that banned online gambling in Tamil Nadu after a petition brought by online operators.

Online operators had argued that since 1968 the Supreme Court has made it clear that rummy is a game of skill and not a game of chance, and therefore cannot be banned.

Karnataka’s Home minister Araga Jnanendra has said that the legal amendment is necessary because it was difficult for the police to handle gambling and betting due to the new request from a bench of the state high court at Dharwad, which has stopped the police raiding gambling dens.

He stated: “There is a lot of gambling happening using electronic devices and this has to be controlled.

The bill aims to strengthen provisions of the Karnataka Police Act to make gambling a cognisable and non-bailable offence and include the use of cyberspace including computer resources or any communication device as defined in the Information Technology Act, 2000.”

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