Karnataka Cabinet bans online gambling

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The Karnataka Cabinet has decided to ban online gambling by amending the Karnataka Police Act, 1963. The new regulation does not include lotteries, wagering, or betting on horse races within or outside Karnataka, said Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy after the cabinet meeting. The amendment bill to this effect will be tabled in the upcoming session of the legislature beginning on September 13.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister JC Madhuswamy said:

“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”

He added: “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.”

The draft of the amendment bill states:

“Gaming means all forms of wagering or betting in the form of tokens, valued in terms of money, virtual currency and electronic transfer of funds in connection with any game of chance. It is also any act of risking money on the unknown result of an event, including on a game of skill, playing any game or by any third parties.”

Madhuswamy also added that the instrument of gaming includes any article used or intended to be used, including computers, computer systems, mobile apps, internet or cyber space, virtual platforms, software, and accessories.

Karnataka is the largest state in South India and sixth largest in India. The decision follows a direction from the Karnataka High Court asking the State Government to take a stand on online gambling. Tamil Nadu state banned online gambling in November last year, while Kerala state banned online rummy games earlier this year.