On Monday, The Karnataka High Court voided a state government law that banned online gambling. The Karnataka government had notified the law banning betting and wagering in online games in October last year, after Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot gave his approval.
Challenging the law, the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and the likes of MPL, Games 24×7 (which owns RummyCircle and My11 Circle) among others, moved to the High Court. The ban was revoked and Karnataka has access to the online platforms that will enable them to participate in various fantasy sports tournaments, and stand a chance to win handsome monetary rewards once again.
Karnataka High Court revokes online gaming ban
A boost for the online gaming industry in India, a division bench of the Karnataka High Court Monday struck down key amendments to the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, which were brought in last year to ban all forms of gambling in the state, including online gambling, in order to “curb menace of gaming through the Internet, mobile apps”.
“The provisions are declared to be ultra vires under the Constitution and struck down,” Justice Krishna S Dixit said while pronouncing the order.
The case basically noted the changes made to the Karnataka Police Act that banned any online platform indulging in money transfer. Similar orders were also passed in multiple states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the past few months. Online gaming is becoming a major impediment for authorities, who are unable to govern its operations or track the movement of money.
Vasantha Kumar of Times of India noted that the court said that the law that “clamped an absolute embargo on all games of skill defies the principle of proportionality and is far excessive in nature and therefore violates Article 14 of the Constitution on the ground of ‘manifest arbitrariness’.”
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