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Delhi HC hears out petition demanding ban on online gambling websites; ‘What makes you special?’, Chief Justice asks AIGF

"What makes you special? There’s no prayer against you,” Delhi High Court Chief Justice D.N. Patel asked All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), questioning their request to become a party to the PIL which seeks direction to the Centre to ban online gambling and betting websites in India. The hearing was held on July 31 by a bench consisting of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar in Court No. 1 at 4:15 pm. MeitY, Finance Ministry, and the RBI (Governor, Department of Information Technology, and Department of Foreign Exchange) are the respondents to the petition. In response to the judge, AIGF’s lawyer Tarun Mehta said that the federation was a directly affected party since 27 businesses offering online betting services were its members. According to AIGF’s website, their members include Adda52 and PokerStars, both of which have been named in the petition. AIGF had also appeared before the court at the previous hearing, and had said that Adda52 and PokerStars were wrongly included in the petition. The PIL (WP[C] 5661/2019) was filed on May 20 by chartered accountant Avinash Mehrotra, via his advocates Siddhartha Iyer, Prashant Kumar, Awantika Manohar, and Saurabh Suman Sinha. 'Our websites host games of skill', says AIGF; petitioner disagrees All the respondents argued that the gambling in question is a game of skill and not of chance, to which Justice Patel asked, “You [the respondents] say gambling increases skill. What skill does gambling increase?” For context, wagering or gambling is legal in most Indian…

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