Karnataka High Court hearing on gambling ban set for tomorrow

Authorities have banned all forms of gambling in the state.
Authorities have banned all forms of gambling in the state.

The Karnataka High Court has announced that a new hearing on the petition of gaming companies who have challenged the banning of online gambling will be held on November 18.

India.- The Karnataka state government‘s decision to ban all forms of gambling in the state will face another hearing at the Karnataka High Court tomorrow.

Karnataka announced in September that it would amend its laws to prohibit all forms of betting gambling, including games of skill. The Karnataka Police Act, as amended in 1963, makes all forms of gambling (including online gambling) an identifiable crime. 

The law went into effect on October 5. However, it has been challenged by at least 10 different petitioners, including the All India Game Federation (AIGF) and major Indian game companies such as Mobile Premier League and Junglee Games.

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, one of the petitioners, stated: “I sincerely believe that with the much-needed support of the relevant policymakers across the states and the centre, India can become an i-gaming superpower in the near future.”

The industry has won legal victories against such bans elsewhere. In September, the Kerala High Court rejected the government’s attempt to ban online Rummy, arguing that it was a skill-based game and therefore protected by the Indian Constitution. 

Petitioners including Junglee Games and Gameskraft Technologies argued that the move violated their basic right to conduct business and was therefore arbitrary and unreasonable. In August, a similar ban issued by the government of Tamil Nadu was rejected in the Madras High Court.

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 it cannot be banned.

In this article:
gambling GAMBLING REGULATION online gambling