No action on online gaming companies: K’taka govt to HC
Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has assured the High Court that no coercive action would be taken against online gaming companies operating in the state despite the new law allowing authorities to initiate action.
The state government through the counsel gave oral commitment to the division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi in this regard on Thursday. The India Gaming Federation and other online gaming companies had submitted a petition opposing the law enacted by the Karnataka government to make online gaming a criminal and punishable offence.
Prabhulinga Navadagi, the Advocate General who appeared for the government submitted that the court has to consider objections filed in this regard before the single bench in connection with the issue. He also stated that all queries by the petitioners will be answered.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi placed his arguments before the court for more than one and a half hours. He explained that ‘there are two types of online games known as games of skill and games of chance. Games of skill can’t be controlled or prevented by law.’
In Spite of the Supreme Court order in this regard, the Karnataka government has brought games of skill under the jurisdiction of the new act, he argued. The High Court has adjourned the matter to November 18.
The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill 2021 was mooted by the ruling BJP to amend the Karnataka Police Act 1963, in the Monsoon session. The BJP leaders claimed that they were introducing the Bill to ban online gaming in the interest of people.
The law included all forms of wagering or betting in connection with any game of chance barring horse racing. However, the new law was opposed by online gaming companies and it was said that the policy would affect the prospectus of the city which is emerging as a hub of online gaming companies.