In the near future, online gambling for money and betting in the state is expected to be classified as a criminal offence punishable by up to three years in prison or a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
Recently, last week on Saturday, the Karnataka Cabinet agreed to prohibit the online internet gambling and betting. The lottery and horse racing, on the other hand, are not outlawed.
The cabinet passed the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill last week, which aims to prohibit profit-making online gaming. The decision was made in response to complaints from organisations and parents who wanted to see something done.
“We are amending the Karnataka Police Act, with an intention to put an end to online gambling, on the basis of the High Court directions. The cabinet has approved the amendments, it will be placed before the assembly,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said.
Following a cabinet meeting here, he told reporters that the government has decided to outlaw online gambling.
The Minister stated that the draft Bill defines online games as, games involving all forms of wagering or betting including in the form of tokens valued in terms of the money paid before or after the issue of it or electronic means and virtual currency, also electronic transfer of currency in connection with any game of chance. According to him, it does not, however, involve lotteries, wagering, or betting on horse races at any racecourse within or outside the state.
This means those internet games played on computers, smart phones, and social networking sites, as well as betting in the form of tokens, electronic money transfers, and digital currencies, will be prohibited, according to Madhuswamy. The measure, however, exempts the lottery and horse races held on race tracks both within and outside the state.
The amendment bill to this effect will be introduced in the legislature's upcoming session, which begins on September 13. The state administration informed the High Court in July that it had developed a Bill in response to a petition seeking a ban on all kinds of internet betting and gambling.
Tamil Nadu passed an act prohibiting internet gambling last November, and Kerala banned online rummy games earlier this year.
A similar rule implemented by the Tamil Nadu government to restrict online betting games was declared ultra vires (activity of a delegated legislative body that affects basic rights promised to the public) to the Constitution by the Madras high court a month earlier.
“The bill will be tabled in the monsoon session (starting September 13),” law and parliamentary affairs minister JC Madhuswamy stated.