Madhya Pradesh High Court calls for decision on gambling regulation in three months

The High Court has listed the matter for a hearing on November 30.
The High Court has listed the matter for a hearing on November 30.

The court has asked the state government to take steps on the regulation of online gaming.

India.- The Madhya Pradesh Supreme Court has given the state government three months to take concrete steps on the regulation of online gaming and related activities. It’s asked for a government report to be submitted before its next hearing on November 30.

The move comes as hearings continue into the case of a young man accused of withdrawing Rs 8.51 lakh from his grandfather’s bank account to bet on an Indian Premier League cricket match.

According to the New Indian Express, the High Court said: “This issue having wider ramifications on the economic, physiological and physical health of the youth of the country cannot wait for an inordinately long period, therefore, instead of six months’ time as prayed by the Principal Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh Department of Law and Legislative Affairs, three months’ time is granted to bring on record concrete/action taken report.”

In February 2021, the Madhya Pradesh government was urged by the state’s high court to rule on whether to legalise online gambling or declare it illegal. However, authorities requested more time to discuss it.

In the meantime, India continues to make advances towards a possible legalisation of gambling. In June, 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.

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