Indian state of Karnataka agrees bill banning online gambling

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Karnataka, India

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Karnataka, the largest state in Indias south, is set to ban online gambling after cabinet agreed on Saturday to amend Karnataka Police Act, 1963.

Under the proposed ban, which follows requests for action from the High Court of Karnataka, online gambling will be considered a criminal offence and could see those found guilty of partaking sentenced to three years in prison.

The new bill will now be tabled in the upcoming session of the state legislature, starting on 13 September.

According to a report in The Hindu Times, the draft Bill defines online games as those involving all forms of wagering or betting including in the form of tokens valued in terms of money paid before or after the issue of it, or electronic means and virtual currency, electronic transfer of funds in connection with any game of chance.

Lottery and horse racing will be exempt from the ban.

Karnatakas decision to ban online gambling follows similar moves earlier this year by the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, although the Madras High Court recently struck down the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act of 2021 as being excessive and disproportionate.