A bill that makes all gambling illegal in the Indian state of Karnataka has been enacted, having been approved by the Legislative Assembly and the state governor.
The bill, entitled Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill 2021, was passed in the tenth session of the Fifteenth Legislative Assembly.
It then received the assent of Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot on Monday, October 4, before being published in the Official Journal of the State.
The bill amends a number of articles of the Karnataka Police Act of 1963.
Several of the amendments clarify the definitions of games to also include online games. Article 2, clause 12, for example, now includes a clearer definition of gambling as including games played online “by means of gaming instruments, a computer, a computing resource, a network. computer, a computer system or a mobile or Internet application or any communication device, electronic application, software or on any virtual platform.
These additional details appear several times in the bill. Another article was amended to prohibit games in internet cafes, mobile games and games on any communication device.
In Article 79, a fine of up to one lakh of rupees (₹ 100,000 / £ 983.41 1 / € 1,156.24) has been stipulated for anyone who operates games of chance from a building or a ship. Previously, no fines were foreseen.
In addition, bail will no longer be permitted for the offenses referred to in Chapter 7 – excluding Article 87 – and all offenses referred to in Articles 90, 108, 113, 114 and 123.
The amended bill was promulgated by the Karnataka state legislature and published in the Karnataka Gazette on October 5, meaning it officially became law.
Karnataka – in southwest India – includes the city of Bangalore and has a population of 61.1 million.
Last year, the neighboring state of Andhra Pradesh introduced its own ban on online gambling.
In August, a global survey conducted by YouGov found online gambling to be the most popular in India, with 76% of participants stating a preference for it. This figure is compared to 70% in Great Britain and 69% in Italy.