Karnataka: Online gambling bill passed; industry worried | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: In a move to put an end to online gambling and betting, the assembly passed a bill on Tuesday amid concerns raised by industry stakeholders. Home minister Araga Jnanen- dra, who piloted the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021, said the existing law was inadequate to curb online gambling as it was a non-cognisable and bailable offence. The bill seeks to prohibit all wagering, betting, gambling of all forms, except lottery and horse race.
The CM said, “Proposed law does not prohibit online games that strictly comply with games-of-skill features. The government, however, will deal with operators and abettors who run games of chance camouflaged as games of skill. Skill games that involve risks of the player losing money would also invite action.”
Min: New bill provides for higher penalty
Congres lawmaker Priyank Kharge said the government should form a committee with industry stakeholders and come out with a law that curbs online betting instead of a bill that won’t stand the test of law.
The home minister said: “Despite police booking cases and arresting people involved in such activities, the latter used to get bail with ease and restart their activities. The new bill will address these shortcomings and make the offence cognisable. The bill also provides for higher punishment and penalty.” Jnanendra said the bill will allow the government to raid those involved in illegal gambling.
Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said the bill is just the beginning of an attempt to curb online gaming. “As of now, there is no effective law to curb these activities. Under the current legislation, police had to take court’s permission even to raid gambling centres, ” he said.
Congress MLA Ramesh Kumar said several people were falling prey to online cricket betting, especially during the IPL season. Since the handlers of online gambling are sitting in remote places, how effective will this bill be in curbing this menace, he asked. “Hundreds of families have been ruined because of online gambling,” he said.
Congress member Sharath Bachegowda said online cricket betting involved the role of foreign handlers, who needs to be tackled effectively.
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Sagar Biswas

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