Delhi HC disposes PILs against online poker and betting

Posted On 29 Nov, 2019 0

Lately, the gaming industry is going through various legal challenges. Yesterday, the Centre and the Delhi High Court were ordered to block and ban online gaming sites and card game websites. This came after two PIL’s that were filed at the Delhi HC by social activist Avinash Mehrotra and second by a lawyer Deepti Bhagat seeking action.

The petition doubts the game of poker and card games as luck or chance which sought to block domestic and offshore poker and major betting websites like Betway, 1xbet, Dafabet, Adda52 and which might propagate gambling activities. The matter was disposed of by the division bench of the Delhi HC comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C. Harishankar.

However, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had earlier through its affidavit submitted that blocking of online gaming sites, including those of card games, was technologically infeasible as many states have enacted laws which partially or fully allow such activities.

Mehrotra had stated that many of the foreign gaming websites are illegally accepting payments from Indian users and allowing them to bet enormous sums of money. In response to the PIL, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its affidavit has taken each and every step under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to block any kind of transaction which is illegal.

The two petitioners state that the players involving in such activities, the websites are encouraging people to spend their hard-earned money in the game of chance or live poker. Further, the court asked the government to consider the matter of money laundering, FEMA violation, and taxation of gaming proceeds in order to conclude the matter.

The court has now entrusted the central government with the responsibility of taking a final call on whether to block offshore and domestic gaming websites. For latest updates on poker news and industry around the world, keep reading and stay tuned!

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