On Friday, the government of Karnataka tabled a bill in the assembly banning online gambling or betting in the state and providing for a maximum prison term of three years or a fine of up to Rs a lakh for any violation.
The “Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill 2021” was tabled in the assembly by Minister of the Interior Araga Jnanendra. The Karnataka Police Law Amendment Bill of 1963 states that “games mean and include online games, involving all forms of wagering or wagering, including in the form of tokens valued in terms of money. paid before or after the issuance thereof, or means electronic and virtual currency, electronic transfer of funds within the framework of any game of chance.
However, this does not include lottery, betting or betting on horse races held at a racetrack in or out of the state.
The Bill, in its Statement of Objects and Reasons, states that it is intended to amend the Police Act 1963 to provide for the enforcement of the provisions of the Act, making offenses under certain sections of the recognized offenses and not liable to bail, with the exception of article 87 (gambling in public streets), which is made knowable and profitable.
It will include the use of cyberspace, including computer resources or any communication device as defined in the Information Technology Act 2000, in the context of gambling, to reduce the threat of gambling via the Internet and mobile applications. It provides for increased penalties for gambling in order to wean citizens from the vice of gambling, extending to three years and a fine of up to Rs a lakh.
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He said the penalty for the first offense would be six months imprisonment and Rs 10,000 fine, for the second one year imprisonment and Rs 15,000 fine, and for the third offense, 18 months imprisonment and 20,000 Rs fine. People aiding or promoting such online games would also be punished, he added.
There are no additional expenses involved in the proposed legislation, he said. Gaming Instruments include any item intended for use as a gaming medium, including computers, computer system, mobile or Internet or cyberspace application, virtual platform, computer network, computing resource, any communication device, electronic applications, software and accessories, says Bill.
In addition, the means of online gambling, any document, record or record or proof of any game in electronic or digital form, the proceeds of any online game or of any winnings or prizes in cash or otherwise distributed or intended for distribution with respect to any game, he added.
The state government informed the High Court in July, hearing a petition calling for a ban on all forms of online betting and gambling, that it had drafted a bill. Last November, Tamil Nadu issued an ordinance banning online gambling, and earlier this year Kerala also imposed a ban on online rummy games.
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