The Law Applies to All:Home Minister on Karnataka Gaming Law

Author : Anurag Manoranjan

Last Updated: October 28, 2021     Published: October 26, 2021

The crackdown on online games featuring betting is set to continue and Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has spoken about the importance of the law being equal to all. According to the Economic Times, the minister added that they will not discriminate regardless of whether the lawbreaker is an Indian or a foreign gaming company.

The minister’s comments were in response to several grievances from different sections of the Indian gaming firms highlighting the fact that a few offshore operators weren’t being taken into account for flouting the new law placing a ban on betting and wagering.

The new law, which is being opposed by different gaming firms, places a complete ban on online games involving betting and financial risk. On the 5th of Oct, the Govt of Karnataka notified the law after the state legislature went on to pass amendments to the Karnataka Police Act, 1963.

The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), which expressed its disappointment since the new law fails to make a distinction between games of skill and chance, through its CEO, Roland Landers, have spoken about how the law has not impacted foreign gambling apps. In an email statement to the Economic Times, Landers has quoted his disappointment on seeing illegal foreign gambling apps functioning in the state and promoting their activities.

Landers has also pointed out how gaming startups have been affected by the new law, including homegrown online skill gaming companies that have been paying taxes accordingly.

While the AIGF have also been arguing about the law leaving out the differentiation between games of skill and chance, the home minister defended the law by saying that it does not target games of skill but the ones involving money by way of betting.

With a series of petitions being filed from two sides of the argument, Justice Krishna S Dixit will take up the hearing for the same at the High Court. The petitioners have sought interim relief, which mainly includes a stay on the operations of amendments made to the Act.