HC reserves verdict on petitions against online gambling ban

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a batch of petitions questioning the legality of several provisions of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act 2021, which prohibits and criminalizes activities consisting of offering and playing games. games of skill, including online games, risking money or otherwise.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Judge Krishna S. Dixit reserved judgment after the conclusion of oral argument on behalf of the petitioners and the state government.

The petitioners include gaming operator associations like the Online Gaming Federation, Indian Fantasy Sports Federation, gaming operators like Galactus Funware Technology Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, Play Games 24X7 Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, responsible for Digital Works Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad, Gameskraft Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore and Junglee Games India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, Pacific Gaming Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, Pool N Club and a few people who are passionate about online games.

The petitioners’ main argument was that the new law “illegally” prohibits the “lawful and legitimate” trade in online skill games. The applicants argued that games of skill (involving the risk of money or otherwise) did not amount to betting or betting as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

However, the government defended the new law citing that it was legislation in the wider public interest and ensuring public order while claiming that there is a big difference between games of skill. when played in physical mode and online mode.

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