Karnataka to implement law banning online gambling in two months, interior minister says

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Bangalore: Karnataka plans to implement the new online gambling law after setting the rules for the first time, Interior Minister Araga Jnanendra told ET on Monday, following the legislature’s passage of the state of a set of major amendments to the Karnataka Police Act, 1963, last week.

The bill is awaiting the approval of the governor. The government will first notify draft rules under the amended law and issue a final notification after considering suggestions and objections from stakeholders.

“The government has started working on the rules. We want to implement it soon. We hope to implement in about two months, ”said the Minister.

The rules, he added, will address the subject in more detail, explain the implementation processes and establish procedures.

The government deemed it inevitable to introduce the bill because “money was being spent on betting” and online gambling was financially ruining young people and destroying them psychologically.

The minister said he had personally encountered cases where young people, earning meager income, lost thousands of rupees in online betting. “It leads to heckling and other illegal activities in society,” he said.

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The amendment, said the interior minister, removed some legal difficulties related to gambling, as the Dharwad bench of the Karnataka High Court pointed out. “We have made betting and wagering in online games an identifiable offense punishable by a prison sentence of over a year. We have also increased the amount of the fine from 10 to 15 times, ”he said.

“We will defend in court”

On reports that sections of gaming companies are planning to challenge Karnataka’s new law in court, Jnanendra said the government has been studying previous court rulings and state amendments are aligned with them. . “The courts have allowed skill games, and we have accepted it. But no court has allowed betting. Thus, our law also authorizes online skill games, but not betting or betting on them, ”said the Minister. “The government is well prepared to defend itself in the event of a legal challenge regarding the new law,” he added.

The ruling BJP, Jnanendra said, was with him on the matter and supported the amendments at the legislative party meeting. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also supported the bill, he added.

On reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi supports the online gaming industry, the minister said the prime minister only talks about supporting the industry but not betting.


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