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Kerala HC directs state govt to take a decision on including online gaming in Kerala Gaming Act

The Kerala High Court has directed the state chief secretary and IT secretary to take an "appropriate decision" on the aspect of including online gambling and betting within the purview of the Kerala Gaming Act, 1960. The court passed the order on February 10, in a petition requesting regulation of online gaming, particularly rummy, in Kerala by updating the state's gambling law. The order was passed by a bench consisting of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly. Filed by one Pauly Vadakkan, a film director, the petition pleaded the Kerala HC to declare online betting and gambling, particularly online rummy, unlawful and illegal. The plea also asks for direction to the Kerala state government to ban these online betting or gambling “of any nature” until an appropriate regulatory regime is established and regulations are framed by the state government. Vadakkan also felt endorsements of online gaming platforms by celebrities such as Virat Kohli and Aju Varghese encouraged "unsuspecting people" to sign up for the games. On February 10, Vadakkan's lawyer Jomy K. Jose reiterated that online gaming platforms are a "growing menace". Jose cited recent decisions by the Madras High Court and Gujarat High Court on similar petitions on online gaming. Online gaming companies PlayGames 24x7 Pvt Ltd and Mobile Premier League, Virat Kohli, Aju Varghese, and Tamannaah Bhatia are among the respondents. In a hearing on February 10, senior government pleader Aravinda Kumar Babu submitted that the Kerala State Police Chief has sent a proposal to…

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