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Urgent Hearing on Online Gambling: Madras HC’s Madurai Bench

by Donna Amo Posted on 03 Nov, 2020

Discussions on the topic of gambling can be polarizing, with some completely against it calling it a social evil while those who are for it claims that it would be a boon for the economy. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 prohibits running or overseeing a public gambling house; however, it has not been amended to fit more modern ways of gambling like online gambling. This leaves a grey area of opportunity for many operators who are able to run online gambling sites due to it, while giving easy access to many.

The Madras High Court’s Madurai bench will soon address an urgent request to ban online gambling, a petition filed by a Mohammed Rafee. The plea was presented by the petitioner’s advocate Neelamegam before the bench comprising of Justice Kirubakaran and Pugazhendhi.

The request comes at a time where more than ten people have reportedly died due to online gambling. Many of these people commit suicide when they have gambled away large portions of money, which may often be borrowed or loaned, taking the drastic step when they realize they are unable to pay it back. Many advocating for the ban of online gambling, point out that its unregulated nature is a danger to society, especially among the youth.

Vijaykumar, a man from Puducherry ended his life on 19 October, after losing nearly INR 30 lakh playing ‘rummy’ online. He allegedly doused himself in petrol and set fire to himself. He left behind voice clips on WhatsApp for his wife saying he was ending his life after losing INR 30 lakh to online gambling.

Games involving money could be banned across India, by the Central and State governments, observed the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court in July. Just this August, a plea had been filed in the court requesting the ban of online gambling, while also penalizing the ones running the sites along with the famous personalities endorsing these activities.

While the country has yet to pass a clear law on online gambling, it is important to note that one must always be responsible and aware while playing or indulging in these games. For more news updates, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com

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