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Advocates’ association calls for ban on real-money gaming apps in Karnataka: Report

Drawing comparisons between lotteries and online real-money gaming, the association said that such apps present a danger to children.

The Five Year Law Course Advocates’ Association in Bengaluru has called for a ban on real money gaming apps, The Hindu reported. In a petition to the state government, the association’s president S Umesh reportedly drew parallels between the erstwhile lotteries held in the state and real-money gaming apps, the latter of which are starting to get banned in more and more states for their resemblance to gambling. Courts have frequently ruled that games, such as fantasy sport or poker played on mobile apps, don’t constitute gambling if they are deemed to sufficiently require skills.

Regulation of real-money gaming

A few states such as Tamil NaduUttar Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh, have taken steps to regulate some or all online real money gaming, with exemptions for games of skill. Kerala, Madhya PradeshRajasthan, and Gujarat have been reportedly considering similar restrictions. Karnataka was also reportedly exploring such restrictions in February 2021. However, no formal proposals have been made in this connection.

Umesh said that the association would initiate legal proceedings if the Karnataka government does not move forward in banning real money gaming apps in the state. “We demand an immediate ban on all online gaming apps, on the lines of Tamil Nadu and other States, in Karnataka. While lakhs of people are getting addicted to these games, the bigger danger is of children, who are now pursuing studies online, being lured into betting and gambling,” he reportedly said. Umesh added, “There is no clarity on what percentage of the total amount collected is given away as prizes.”

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