Gambling, betting: India

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


Fantasy sports online

Such games are not gambling: HC

Ajay Sura, HC: Fantasy sports not gambling, August 5, 2017: The Times of India

Playing fantasy sports online requires considerable skill and discretion, the Punjab and Haryana high court has held, observing that such games could not be considered gambling.

The observations were made by Justice Amit Rawal recently after a Chandigarh resident, Varun Gumber, approached the court claiming that he was a a victim of illegal gambling on a fantasy sports portal. Gumber had registered with the website on March 9 and transferred Rs 50,000 to its account to participate in the various “leagues“.

The petitioner submitted that at the end of two matches of cricket and football, he lost Rs 24,000 and Rs 26,000, which he had bet on his teams. According to the petitioner, the nature of the activity on the website was not based on skill and purely a game of chance, which amounted to gambling.

The company contested the petition claiming that they were registered with the ministry of commerce.


Online lottery should be banned: SC

The Times of India, Nov 06 2015

AmitAnand Choudhary

Online lottery is manipulative, should be banned, says SC 

Terming gambling through lottery a social evil destroying poor families, the Supreme Court on Thursday favoured a stringent law to control the menace and upheld the Kerala government's decision to ban online lottery. A three-judge bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Justices R K Agrawal and Arun Mishra held that there was enough scope of manipulation in online lottery and there was nothing wrong in banning it. “The continued prevalence of the popularly known single digit and instant lotteries and the temptation offered by them proved to be the undoing of many families, especially poor daily wagers and low income groups. In spite of the guidelines issued by the Centre over a period of time as also the guidelines issued in the recent past by this court, the evil has not been totally eliminated,“ the bench said.

The court held that violation of rules was detected in the online lottery tickets issued by Meghalaya, Sikkim and Nagaland governments. It said several tickets with out the imprint and logo of state governments and without signature of the authorised officer have been found to be sold and the Kerala government took a right decision in banning them.

The bench said that as per law, the draw should be held once in a week but under the scheme of online lotteries, a number of lotteries run simultaneously . “It is common case that lottery is a species of gambling. Gambling is considered as a pernicious vice by all civilised societies from time immemorial,“ it said.

Legalising Gambling, betting

Lodha panel, 2016/ Law Commission, 2017

Dhananjay Mahapatra, `Should gambling & betting be legalised?', May 31, 2017: The Times of India

Law Panel Wants Your Opinion

More than a year after the Justice R M Lodha committee suggested legalising betting on sports in the wake of the IPL 2013 betting and spot-fixing scandal, the Law Commission opened on Tuesday a 30-day window to solicit the views of citizens on betting as well as gambling.

While adding gambling to its original task of examining the legalisation of betting, the panel said, “The commission discerned that gambling is also a subject which is very closely associated with betting. While considering legalisation of betting, leaving aside gambling may render the whole exercise futile. “ In January 2016, the Lodha panel's report led to the SC issuing orders for reforms in the world's richest cricket board, BCCI. The panel had also recommended legalising betting. The SC did not accept this straightaway and said, “Recommendation made by the committee... involves enactment of a law which is a matter that may be examined by the Law Commission and the government for such action as it may consider necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case.“

Law Commission chairman Justice B S Chauhan issued on Tuesday an appeal to the public stressing the importance of the issue, “Various media reports time and again point out that betting and gambling, though not legal in India, is practised across the country clandestinely. These reports argue that many families are rendered bankrupt and many people are behind bars owing to these practices.“

The commission said strict rules against betting and gambling had not acted as deterrent. “Online gambling and betting is another area which has become very difficult to curb. It is understood that a lot of money is involved in illegal gambling business, creating almost a parallel economy , converting legally earned money into black money that is drained to gambling operators in other countries online,“ it said.

The panel sought views of the public on a wide range of questions: “Will legalising betting and gambling help in curbing illegal activities undertaken by citizens of our country in this regard? Will licensing such activities help the government earn substantial revenue and generate employment? How far will legalising betting and gambling be morally correct in the Indian circumstances? What could be a possible model by which people engaging in such activities can be safeguarded against bankruptcy? If legalised, should foreign betting and gambling companies be allowed to have a foothold in the country?“

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