Karnataka gambling ban to take effect on 13 September 2021

06 Sep 2021

Karnataka includes online gambling in Karnataka Police Act, 1963.

Earlier this year, we reported on the Karnataka High Court proposing regulation of online gambling. And recently, we received an update on the matter, unfortunately not in a way that we would have hoped.

The Karnataka Cabinet has decided to ban online gambling and online betting. The Karnataka Police Act, 1963 is to be amended.

It’s been made clear that this update won’t prohibit online lottery and horse racing.

JC Madhuswamy, the Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, 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’s directions. The cabinet has approved the amendments; it will be placed before the assembly.

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.”

There is still hope for online gambling in Karnataka

Although finding yet another Indian state to ban gambling is disappointing, Karnataka is doing so as part of a larger, more hopeful plan.

The Karnataka gambling ban is put in place to prevent unregulated gambling but does not condone regulated gambling.

This means that there is a chance that we will now see a greater push towards regulating gambling within the state, which, in turn, would result in the state becoming one of the most liberal ones in the country.

We can only wait and see if and when this will happen.