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Ongoing proceedings on anti-gambling law deemed final hearing: Karnataka HC

Yatti Soni | | Updated on: Dec 01, 2021
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During the proceedings, the Bench also noted that once the arguments are finished, the parties will have time to file an additional affidavit

The Karnataka High Court has decided that the ongoing interim plea hearing of six petitions challenging the State’s anti-gambling law, will be deemed as the final hearing on the matter.

A two-judge bench comprising the Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Krishna S Dixit said, “The arguments have been advanced at length, the matter may be heard finally. We plead these arguments of learned counsel for the parties as the final argument. We place this matter on 6th December, 2021 at 2:30 pm.”

During the proceedings, the Bench also noted that once the arguments are finished, the parties will have time to file an additional affidavit.

Notified on October 5, The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Compliance Act, 2021 banned all formats of online gaming that involve an entry fee or registration fee. In response to the amendments, online gaming companies and industry bodies filed six petitions in the Karnataka High Court. The petitioners include All Indian Gaming Federation (AIGF), Mobile Premier League, Games24x7, Gameskraft, Head Digital Works Private Ltd, and Junglee Games.

Skill predominance

Over the years, regulations in various States have pushed companies operating in formats like online fantasy sports (OFS) and online rummy to prove skill predominance in their respective game formats.

States such as Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Nagaland and Sikkim have banned online rummy. However earlier this year, the Madras High Court quashed a State ban on online rummy, as it held that online rummy has high skill dominance and thus cannot be considered as gambling, even when played with stakes. Later in September, the Kerala High Court also did not pass the State’s ban on online rummy played for stakes.

The Indian online gaming sector has touched $1 billion in 2020, according to EY-All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) report, ‘Online gaming in India-The GST conundrum’ and is expected to reach $2 billion by 2023 in terms of rake fees earned.

Published on December 01, 2021

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