Govt. opposes stay on new law banning online gaming

Opposing the plea of firms, associated with the online gaming industry, for staying the enforcement of a new law banning online games involving wagering or betting, the State Government on Tuesday told the High Court of Karnataka that the petitioners have failed to show cause to challenge the validity of the new legislation as they were not even charged under the new law.

State Advocate-General Prabhuling K Navadgi also told a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Magadum, that there are thousands of online games and it is a pure question of fact whether a game could be classified as a ‘game of skill’ of a ‘game of chance’ during investigation by the police, and the petitioners were not charged under the new law

If anybody risks their money by soliciting or betting on an unknown result of an event, either in money or otherwise, amounts to wagering and betting, and unknown result can be a ‘game of chance’ or a ‘game of skill’, the A-G argued.

The Bench, which is hearing a batch petitions filed by the All-India Gaming Federation, individual online gaming firms, operators and the players, who have challenged the legality of the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021, through which online games were banned, has adjourned further hearing till November 30.

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