India: two arrested for operating fake lottery

Police seized INR69,000 (US$870,159).
Police seized INR69,000 (US$870,159).

Police in Karnal carried out a raid that ended with the arrest of two people who allegedly scammed people through a fake lottery.

India.- Local media has reported that the police arrested two people in Karnal, Hayana, for operating a fake lottery in order to defraud players. Police seized INR69,000 (US$870,159), a notebook and two mobile phones in a raid on the operation.

According to Hindustan Times, those arrested are alleged to have created digital bank accounts for their victims to convince them that the claimed prizes were genuine.

News stories linked to arrests for illegal gambling are frequent in India. To date, apart from the Supreme Court’s precedent on skill-based gambling, there is no federal statute to govern India’s gambling industry, with each state taking its own stance on the issue.

A few days ago, police in Bibwewadi, Pune, carried out a series of raids that ended with the arrest of 42 people for alleged involvement in illegal gambling. Elsewhere in India, two weeks ago, police carried out a raid in the Baba Demb area of Srinagar and arrested eight people who were allegedly involved in illegal gambling activities. Police seized money and playing cards.

Meanwhile, in recent months there has been progress toward the possible legalisation of gambling across the country. A seven-member team that includes state ministers was tasked to identify a nodal ministry to oversee the industry. Its responsibilities include developing regulatory mechanisms to protect players and business principles.

According to reports, the panel will pay particular attention to the legal and legislative frameworks used by other regulators in the world to help formulate policies that could be considered acceptable in areas of India where anti-gambling sentiment exists locally. The hope is that legalising gaming will help curb illegal offerings.

However, there are states that are still resisting a possible regulation of gambling. The state of Tamil Nadu is expected to restrict or entirely ban online games following committee recommendations. A committee set up by chief minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin to investigate the impact of online games has recommended the government ban or at least limit the activity.

Last February, deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam introduced laws that punished online gambling with up to two years in prison or a fine of up to Rs10,000 (US$ 137.15). Nevertheless, in August 2021, the Madras High Court overturned the legislation after petitions were filed by online operators. The Tamil Nadu government went to the High Court in December to challenge that decision.

However, since a ban on all online gaming faces legal hurdles, it’s believed the state may instead impose access restrictions to limit the time online games can be played, such as once a day or a week. The amount that users can spend may also be limited.

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