Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has ordered the central government and also the state government to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to ban online gaming businesses.

The court also served notices on officials of websites that were illegally owned by Chinese nationals and were engaged in online gambling and defrauding the public.

The next date for hearing in the matter has been set for September 15 by a division bench consisting of acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice Rajendra Kumar after hearing a PIL filed by a social worker Shimla Shri Tripathi.

As per the petitioner, there are a huge number of such websites operating in India that provide gambling games such as colour guessing games, in which the user must wager a particular amount of money and guess the colour's outcome before the website announces the result.

According to the petition, such websites initially allow players to win simply, but once a sufficient number of players begin placing higher bets, website owners begin modifying the results, causing the majority of players to lose in the game while website owners illegally profit.

Shashank Shri Tripathi, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, said that these websites also deduct large sums of money from winners in the name of gambling tax, stating that the money will be transferred to the government.

"Such gaming websites are owned by Chinese citizens. These websites are typically controlled by Chinese servers and are part of a larger fraud operation” he mentioned.