Karnataka Govt Is Determined To Ban All Online Games; Moves Supreme Court After HC Doesn’t Allow To Ban
The Karnataka government has moved the Supreme Court after the state High Court revoked several provisions of the Karnataka Police Act.
Karnataka Home Minister, Araga Jnanendra said that they had amended the law due to reports that use of money for betting in online games had ruined large numbers of youth and their families.
It was also needed to maintain public order since cybercrime had reached epic proportions, with 28,000 cases in the last three years.
The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021 criminalised wagering, betting, or risking money on the unknown result of an event.
But the High Court’s division bench struck it down, saying that the 2021 Amendment Act was unconstitutional.
Gaming Companies In Opposition
It quashed several amendments in response to several writ petitions filed by gaming companies:
- Gameskraft Technologies (RummyCulture and Gamezy)
- Play Games24x7 (RummyCircle and My11Circle)
- Head Digital Works (A23)
- All India Gaming Federation (AIGF)
They opposed the law, stating that games of skill were allowed but the use of money is abolished in any form in online games.
Need For The Law
They claimed that the law effectively curbed online games of skill too, which had been allowed by the Supreme Court.
The Karnataka government retorted that the law is needed to protect people from falling for online games and losing money.
Govt Asked To Make Law Aligned With Constitution
The Karnataka High Court took the game companies’ side and told state enforcement agencies to not interfere with the online gaming business and related activities of the gaming firms.
It ultimately left it open to the state legislature to plan a new law on betting and gambling in accordance with the Constitution.