Online gaming

Why Karnataka’s online gambling ban violates constitutional rights, legal experts explain

It was not long ago that state officials tabled the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill 2021, which, if approved, will pave the way for a ban on all forms of betting in the state, with the exception of lottery and horse racing. But as legal experts have pointed out, the proposed ban violates a number of constitutional rights.

Proposed ban “no clear legitimate objective”: lawyer

The goal of the 2021 Karnataka Police Bill was to “wean” people from the so-called “gambling vice”. It aims to do this by banning online games that involve betting and wagering on mobile apps, mobile devices, computers, on Pure victory platform or other sites, effectively banning all online gambling involving money in one form or another in the state, and the offense cannot be bonded.

By pushing for this ban, however, the state risks the possibility of numerous legal challenges. Tanmay Singh, legal adviser at the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), described Karnataka’s decision as an “inadmissible expansion of the law” that violates the rights of residents of the state.

“The ban on online gambling violates several constitutional rights, including the right to freedom of expression and the right to practice any profession. The law is also blatantly arbitrary for a number of reasons, including that there is no clear legitimate objective that the law seeks to achieve, ”Singh noted.

It should also be noted that online betting bans have historically not worked in Karnataka, which is considered to be one of the largest sports betting markets in the country, as it only pushes players to seek jurisdictions where the sports betting is legal. According to a ENV media report on the richest cities of India and its large online gambling communities, “The simple diversification of sporting interests, content, platforms and channels leads to a demand for sports betting in Telangana and Karnataka that exceeds by far average Indian standards. As a result, customers are looking to bet on Asian, Australian and European leagues and tournaments – cricket, football, kabaddi, tennis, horse racing, etc.

Regulation, not ban, is the way forward for online gaming in India

Although the Karnataka bill did not specify which games or gaming companies will be affected if the proposal is passed by the state legislature, the sweeping ban is expected to affect popular online gaming in the United States. purchase exception lottery tickets online and participate in horse racing betting. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that online skill games are protected under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution, which means that it is only a matter of time before they do not intervene to overturn the ban proposed by Karnataka.

It was not long ago that state officials tabled the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill 2021, which, if approved, will pave the way for a ban on all forms of betting in the state, with the exception of lottery and horse racing. But as legal experts have pointed out, the proposed ban violates a number of constitutional rights.

Proposed ban “no clear legitimate objective”: lawyer

The goal of the 2021 Karnataka Police Bill was to “wean” people from the so-called “gambling vice”. It aims to do this by banning online games that involve betting and wagering on mobile apps, mobile devices, computers, on Pure victory platform or other sites, effectively banning all online gambling involving money in one form or another in the state, and the offense cannot be bonded.

By pushing for this ban, however, the state risks the possibility of numerous legal challenges. Tanmay Singh, legal adviser at the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), described Karnataka’s decision as an “inadmissible expansion of the law” that violates the rights of residents of the state.

“The ban on online gambling violates several constitutional rights, including the right to freedom of expression and the right to practice any profession. The law is also blatantly arbitrary for a number of reasons, including that there is no clear legitimate objective that the law seeks to achieve, ”Singh noted.

It should also be noted that online betting bans have historically not worked in Karnataka, which is considered to be one of the largest sports betting markets in the country, as it only pushes players to seek jurisdictions where the sports betting is legal. According to a ENV media report on the richest cities of India and its large online gambling communities, “The simple diversification of sporting interests, content, platforms and channels leads to a demand for sports betting in Telangana and Karnataka that exceeds by far average Indian standards. As a result, customers are looking to bet on Asian, Australian and European leagues and tournaments – cricket, football, kabaddi, tennis, horse racing, etc.

Regulation, not ban, is the way forward for online gaming in India

Although the Karnataka bill did not specify which games or gaming companies will be affected if the proposal is passed by the state legislature, the sweeping ban is expected to affect popular online gaming in the United States. purchase exception lottery tickets online and participate in horse racing betting. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that online skill games are protected under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution, which means that it is only a matter of time before they do not intervene to overturn the ban proposed by Karnataka.

This is why industry stakeholders strongly believe that India needs to adapt to changing times – regulate rather than ban, resulting in the emergence of illegal operations.


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