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The Interministerial Panel Proposes that a Central Law Governs Online Gaming

The IMTF reports will include recommendations from various Union ministries

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

INDIA: An Interministerial Task Force (IMTF) set up to investigate new guidelines for online gaming has prescribed focal regulation to oversee the games.

IMTF has recommended central regulation to monitor online gaming

The interministerial panel called the Public Betting Demonstration of 1867, which presently covers online gaming regulations, is unfit “of covering /safeguarding /managing” with computerized-based exercises and the arising advancements related to it.

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In its September report to the Prime Minister’s Office, the IMTF said that since the team was replacing all outdated laws, it became even more critical to replace the existing law(s) with new legislation(s). The new legislation(s) would cover not only the entire scope of technology and internet-based gaming but also cover extraterritorial jurisdiction, which is currently missing.

The report supported central legislation while citing inconsistent state laws regarding online gambling. It stated that an online gaming platform must not permit or facilitate transactions using unregistered payment systems, nor should it encourage or facilitate any money laundering, financing of terrorism, or transactions that violate the Foreign Exchange Management Act, etc.

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The Public Gambling Act (PGA), a pre-Internet law that serves as a model for state governments to adopt or not, was mentioned in the report. The PGA recognizes that games which require skill and games which rely on chance are distinct. The PGA does not apply to games of skill; the games that require skill are excluded.

According to the report, while many state governments have adopted the Public Gambling Act as it is, others have also introduced their legislation. In some states, like Sikkim, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, there is a way to license online games. In some states, online games of chance and skill with real money are outlawed. These include Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha.

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The report expressed concern about the absence of a uniform regulatory approach for online gaming in state laws. In addition, despite the Supreme Court’s recognition of the fundamental right to trade for games of skill, some state governments adhere to the Public Gambling Act and permit games of skill for real money. On the other hand, others have sought to prohibit both games of skill and chance.

The report added that online gaming companies face a non-uniform regulatory environment. The companies must resort to geo-fencing technologies in their games as they may be legal in some states while illegal in others.

It is worth noting that online games of skill and chance were outlawed in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu by laws challenged in high courts and deemed unconstitutional.

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