Appeal in SC against Ban on Online Gambling

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Published on: March 30, 2022 at 13:19 IST

The Karnataka Government filed a Petition with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, challenging a High Court’s judgement that struck down its law restricting online gaming and betting, claiming that the law was necessary because thousands of families had been ruined and many had attempted suicide as a result of online gaming.

The State described an unusual series of events in its Special leave Petition, which was submitted through counsel Shubhranshu Padhi.

When a Public Interest Litigation was filed before the High Court last year seeking a ban on online gambling and wagering, the High Court urged the State to declare its position on March 31, last year.

On July 8, the state told the High Court that it was modifying the Karnataka Police Act to combat the threat of unlawful internet gambling.

The Revisions to the Police Act adopted by the State government were contested by a slew of online gambling companies, including the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports and the All-India Gaming Federation.

Later, the High Court overturned the changes, returning the State to square one.

The BJP-ruled State stated,“The Amendments were necessary for maintaining public order and public health, with particular reference to the fact that the menace of cybercrime has reached epic proportions, as evidenced by the fact that State Police have registered over 28,0000 cybercrime cases in the last three years.”

According to the report, numerous people have committed suicide and lakhs of families have been destroyed as a consequence of its earning members becoming excessively indebted as a result of online gaming.

“Amendments to the Police Act, which criminalised wagering, betting, or risking money on an uncertain outcome of an event, were required to deal with an emerging scenario originating from the negative impacts of online gambling,” the State stated.

According to the state, the HC ignored the fact that the amendments did not ban or attempt to govern a ‘game of skill’ that may be appropriately played by the general public.

Also read: What is the process for filing a Special Leave Petition? (civil and criminal)

What does the Law Commission Report on Gambling and Sports Betting includes?

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