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ANALYSING THE INDIAN GAMING LAW AND POLICY IN LIGHT OF THE RECENT TIMES

Author: Sabaat Fatima, III year of B.A.,LL.B. from School of Law, HILSR, Jamia Hamdard


Introduction

Playing games is enjoyed by all age groups of people across the world for entertainment purposes. Presently, the Indian gaming industry is the most exciting industry making increased investments from consumers and companies. Since time immemorial gambling has been a part of Indian culture. The mention of gambling can be traced to the times of Mahabharata where the rivals were tested by their skill at the board and dice games rather than through wars. Since the evolution of television and online gaming modes, the gaming industry has witnessed an exemplary shift. The Modi Government sponsored the Digital India Drive[i] has improved the infrastructure by and large. The enhancement in the internet speed in the remote and rural areas had led to the consumption of more content. If we talk about the festivals then there is a religious connotation that gambling during Diwali is auspicious, even the Courts in India[ii] held that gambling is not an offence if it takes place among friends and not in the gambling house or a public place. Hence, gambling is not considered an offence in Diwali. Since the 1970s, Indian gaming has been a centre of political controversies, as the debate usually revolved around the morality or immorality of gambling. A study conducted by KPMG[iii] India stated that the future of the Indian online gaming industry will be redefined by the digitization of traditional Indian games by 2024. On the other hand, the game developers have created the content of games in different local and traditional languages, examples of such games are Rummy, Teen Patti and Poker.


The concept of gaming in India and the need for the law

The Indian population is extremely passionate about sports and sports-related exercises. Indian games have a lift as internet gaming has changed physical games into virtual games, e-games, e-sports, online games, fantasy sports, and so forth. As of date, we have no devoted online gaming and online gambling laws in India. Additionally, we have not committed fantasy sports law in India till now and as such, they are included under the current game laws and as such online poker, online rummy, online lotteries are as yet not governed by any devoted Indian law. The outcome is inescapable, for example, online games in India are in an in-between state and legitimate inconveniences.


Gambling in India is limited aside from particular classes including lotteries and pony horse racing. Opponents of gambling claim that it prompts crime, corruption, and money laundering, while proponents of gambling contend that it tends to be a huge source of income for the state. For instance, casinos in Goa[iv] generated Rs 135 Crore to the state revenue in 2013. The Public Gambling Act[v] of 1867 is a central law that restricts running or being accountable for a public gambling house. The punishment which will be imposed on violating this law will be a fine of Rs 200 or imprisonment of as long as 3 months.


Except for Orissa and Assam, all other states have excluded games of skill from gambling laws. Online gambling in India is still a debatable discussion and there is no determination on the issue of online gambling yet. In 2019[vi], a boy in Hyderabad hanged himself to death and the reason for his death was that his mother used to scold him to stop playing a very known game PUBG.


Another incident took place in Hyderabad where a 16-year-old boy hanged himself to death from a ceiling fan[vii]. It was reported that his father used to scold him for wasting time on games rather than studying for his English exam. His father demanded a ban on the game PUBG.


The Press Trust of India News Agency[viii] reported that two men in their twenties were playing a game on their phones near a railway track in Maharashtra and were killed by an oncoming train. There was a massive storm in India after these incidents and the people demanded to ban the game as it was causing distraction, violence and hatred. In Gujarat[ix], some cities banned the game but the youngsters were still violating the ban. A petition[x] was filed by the Internet freedom foundation in the Gujarat High Court to declare the ban unconstitutional. It was also claimed that to ban the game is an extreme step as there must be some other way to handle the situation because you cannot call someone criminal just because they are playing a video game. Hence, the ban was lifted.


Another very popular game was Pokémon Go[xi] which now needs no introduction. The internet was flooded with cases about its interactivity and stories of mishaps and freak incidents. The Pokémon Go security strategy permits Niantic to share collected data and non-distinguishing data with outsiders for research and investigation, segment profiling and other comparative purposes. How Niantic itself can utilize this data is likewise left not entirely clear. But the fact that players have to hold their phones in front of them to play causes them to be distracted from their surroundings and has prompted mishaps. Also, different Pokémon characters and Pokéstops (destination of in-game items) were situated on private property, which expected users to enter private property to get them. Under Indian law, what Pokémon Go players did would not be viewed as criminal trespass, because there was no intention to harm. Notwithstanding, the tort of trespass to land will be applied as soon as there is an unjustifiable entry into another’s private property. A study[xii] found that if more than 750 users play this game, 85% of them admitted to playing while driving a car, and more than 10% admitted to intruding while playing. To additionally entangle matters, the game was not released officially in India. The issue raised was if it has not been officially released then how the people were playing?


The dare-based "game", Blue Whale Challenge[xiii], spread over 50 days, the challenge allegedly orders participants to complete 50 tasks that include self-hurt, body mutilation and watching startling videos. As the game lifts, participants reach the final day that probably ends up in suicide. The contestants must prove that they have finished the tasks by sending proof — pictures and videos to their "director" or the "whale" who had been instructing them all this while. The challenge has reportedly claimed over 130 deaths so far, with multiple youngsters suicides in India[xiv]. Unauthorized versions of the apps were being downloaded by the users. Other than their provisions on IP, the applicable terms of service require users to sign away various rights. The provision that has the most consideration is an obligatory arbitration clause, which expects clients to forgo their right to sue except if they quit by email or standard mail within 30 days of downloading the application. This is a critical issue in jurisdictions.


In 2013, the game was started in Russia and reported to cause the first suicide in 2015. A former psychology student, Philipp Budeikin was expelled from the university because he invented this game. According to him, he aimed to clean society by pushing those people to suicide who considered themselves valueless. He was detained and sentenced to three years of imprisonment for abetting at least 16 teenagers to kill themselves.


The first case in India was reported when a 14-year old boy jumped from the seventh floor of a building and hence died. Another case was reported in West Bengal, where a class X student committed suicide. His body was found in the washroom with his face covered with a plastic bag. The Ministry of Electronics and IT directed internet platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram, Yahoo and WhatsApp to remove the links to the online game. The Ministry of Women and Child Development filed a petition demanding a ban on the online game.


An overview of the existing legal framework regulating the gambling industry in India

Laws that are affecting the content in games

Following is a list of laws that control the contents[xv] and graphics that can be added to a game.


Pornographic and obscenity laws

Indian games and gaming websites include contents that may be regarded objectionable under the pornographic and obscenity laws of India. Some websites offer games that have animated caricatures of human beings especially outraging the modesty of women in such a way that may be construed as offensive as per the moral standards of India.


i. Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Information Technology Act, 2008

The Indian Penal Code[xvi] ("IPC") and the Information Technology Act, 2008[xvii] ("IT Act") punish the publication and transmission of obscene content. The IPC inter alia restricts the deal, show and circulation of obscene content and punishes any individual who associates with the advertisement, offers, or attempts to do any vulgar action. The IT Act inter alia punishes the transmission of any vulgar content or explicitly express content in electronic structure, including child pornography content.


ii. Indecent Representation of Women

The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act[xviii], 1986 restricts any obscene representation of women for example featuring the figure of a lady, her structure or body that aim to disrespect the class or pride of women, or that are responsible to ruin or harm the public morality or ethics. The punishment for infringing the provisions of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 is imprisonment for a term of up to two years and a fine of up to INR 2,000.


Laws Affecting Action-based and Violent Games

Famous games like Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto etc, display action-based games[xix] which are appealing to youngsters. The linkage between the exposure of such games to teens and the violence happening in society has still not been taken into notice by the Indian Courts. Though states like the USA, Europe and other Asian countries have earlier passed regulations to control the sale of specific video games to children the Supreme Court of the US quashed it by saying that video games possess the constitutional right to free speech and hence cannot be controlled. ‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’, or ‘PUBG’ is a new contestant in the multiplayer social gaming space that has created an uproar and also doubts on how suitable it is for children to play. AhadNizam, an 11-year old boy from Mumbai filed a PIL before the Bombay High Court claiming that PUBG promotes violence, murder, aggression, looting, gaming addiction and cyberbullying and hence it should be banned.


Intellectual Property Right Issues

Games are frequently theme-based in nature and use pictures, musical notes, figures, characters etc. to add to the allure of the games. All these works are liable to copyright protection in their own right; using such copyrighted material in the games, without taking permissions/licenses from the owner of copyrighted material, can activate copyright infringement issues under the Copyright Act, 1957[xx]. The copyright owner can take civil or criminal action. Famous titles should be protected under the Trade Mark Act, 1999[xxi].


Personality Rights Issues

To allure, the gamers for some games such as the FIFA series or the Fallout Franchise, utilize the caricatures, likeness, voice, reputation or popularity of a celebrity for benefitting their business without any approval from the celebrity. This may lead to infringing the personality rights[xxii] of the celebrity. Personality rights have still not been perceived by the Indian Courts. In the case of ShivajiRaoGaikwad v Varsha Productions[xxiii], the praised actor ‘Rajinikanth’ sought an interim injunction stopping the Defendant from utilizing his name, image, style or caricature in the film “Main HoonRajinikanth” and other impending movies to violate his copyright or invade his personality rights. The Madras High Court ordered an interim injunction and put a stay on the release of the film. However, the name of the film was later changed to “Main HoonRajini''. Similarly, games utilizing celebrity images, caricatures, voices, etc. without any permission, may be held to be violating the particular celebrity’s personality rights.


Social gaming and telecom laws

SMS Marketing Related Laws- Considering different complaints made against spam calls and SMSes, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”)[xxiv] issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010[xxv] which looks to forbid the Unsolicited Commercial Communications (“UCC”). Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018[xxvi] replaced the 2010 Regulations. The TCCCPR has the following broad requirements to be followed with commercials communication:-


Opt-out/Consent- The TCCCPR accommodates an opt-out process for business correspondence, where clients may enlist their inclinations in regards to inter alia, the accompanying (I) the sort of messages/calls will get (eg. SMS, Voice Call, Robo Call, and so on) (ii) the time when they will get business communications; (iii) which day of the week they will get the business communications.


Transactional communications- Transactional messages/calls might be sent whether or not the client is in the somewhat or completely blocked category. A transactional message, for example, a message set off by a transaction by a client who is a client of the sender ought not to fall inside the ambit of unsolicited commercial communication and an induced assent from the client should do the trick. Transactional communications ought to be sent to the client within 30 minutes of the transaction being performed and ought to be straightforwardly identified with the transaction.


Header/Content Template- Senders might have the option to send business communications just through an enrolled 'header' allotted to it for the said reason by the Access Provider. A header is an alphanumeric line of the most extreme eleven characters or numbers allocated to an individual, business or lawful entity to send business communications. The TCCCPR takes into account the name or number to be utilized instead of a header. Such headers may likewise vary for transactional and promotional communications sent even by a similar client.


Activation of Value Added Services- After different grumblings in regards to the activation of value-added services ("VAS'') without the approval of supporters and the subsequent allowance in the equilibrium of the endorsers, the TRAI ordered explicit guidelines to guarantee that purchasers are not charged erroneously/excessively for any VAS. The TRAI has forced different obligations on telecom administrators including:

  • Educating the consumer through SMS, on the enactment of a VAS, the legitimacy time of such help, the charges for reestablishment and the strategy for the buyer to withdraw from the assistance;

  • Before subscribing to a VAS, the administrator should acquire affirmation from the purchaser through an SMS within 24 hours of activation of the VAS. The customer should be charged just if such affirmation is received failing which, the VAS should be ceased;

  • If a VAS is offered through WAP or mobile internet, unequivocal assent of the purchaser is required through an online ascent entryway as detailed in TRAI's ways.


Although the TRAI has put all these duties on telecom administrators we have seen that most VAS agreements between the game developers and telecom administrators commonly include the telecom administrator giving its duties to the VAS supplier. Further, telecom administrators commonly likewise require the VAS supplier to conform to every single appropriate law and further repay the telecom administrator in case of any misfortune/punishment.


Other laws that affect the gaming industry

Foreign Direct Investment & Foreign Technology Collaborations in Gambling Industry

The Foreign Direct Investment Policy (“FDI Policy”) of India released by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”) is restricted[xxvii] in elements associated in;

  • lottery, private lottery, online lotteries, etc; and

  • Gambling and betting including casinos, etc.

The expressions “lottery, gambling and betting” have not been defined under the FDI Policy[xxviii]. For breaching the FDI Policy, one may have to pay a punishment of up to threefold the entirety included where such sum is quantifiable, or up to INR 2, 00,000 where the sum isn't quantifiable, and where the negation is a proceeding with one, further punishment which may reach out to INR 5,000 for consistently after the primary day during which the repudiation proceeds. As of late, there has been a gigantic flood in foreign direct investment in elements offering games prevalent on the skill, including Rummy and fantasy sports.


Restrictions under Exchange Control Regulations

Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999[xxix] (“FEMA”) read with Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transaction) Rules, 2000[xxx] (“Current Account Rules”), settlement of pay from rewards from a lottery, dashing/riding or some other side interest is restricted.


Intermediary Guidelines Notified under the IT Act

The Information Technology (Intermediaries guidelines) Rules, 2011 (“Intermediary Guidelines'')[xxxi] were notified under the IT Act in April 2011. This requires delegates like ISPs and different mediators to inter alia notice vital due tirelessness and distribute rules and guidelines and user agreements for access or use of the transfer speed given by the intermediary. The term 'intermediary' has been characterized under the IT Act to incorporate "telecom specialists, network specialist organizations, web access suppliers, web-facilitating specialist co-ops, web crawlers, online installment locales, online-closeout destinations, online-commercial centres and cyber cafes".In the milestone judgment of Shreya Singhal v. Union of India[xxxii] ("ShreyaSinghal''), known for the Supreme Court striking down the disputable Section 66A[xxxiii] of the IT Act, the Supreme Court additionally read down the arrangements of the Intermediary Guidelines identified with blocking of content. Perceiving the worry identified with preemptive blocking of content by mediators to not draw in possible risk, the Supreme Court read down the commitment of delegates. The court has now deciphered the expression "actual knowledge" to just incorporate court or government orders. Subsequently, the commitment to obstruct content has simply been restricted to situations where the delegate gets a court or government request. The Delhi High Court, in Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. v. Myspace Inc. and Anr[xxxiv], passed a milestone administering with connection to intermediary law. The Court expected that an intermediary may hold to take responsibility for encroaching content facilitated on its foundation just when it has explicit or real information or motivation to accept that such data might be encroaching. The addition of ads and alteration of content designs by a delegate through a computerized interaction and without manual intercession doesn't bring about the mediator being considered to have real information on the content facilitated. When an intermediary has been educated by a complainant of possibly encroaching substances facilitated on its foundation, it isn't committed to proactively confirm and eliminate content along these lines facilitated on its foundation that may encroach the protected innovation privileges of the complainant.


Anti-Money Laundering Laws

In India, the law which prevents money laundering activities is the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002[xxxv] (“PMLA”). The PMLA was thus amended by the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act 2012[xxxvi], which achieved huge changes to the consistency in systems needed under the PMLA. The PMLA requires reporting entities to keep up records of transactions and reports proving the character of their customers as per the Rules. The accompanying reports are needed to be kept up by Gaming Entities:

  1. Records of the identity of the clients are required to be maintained.

  2. Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards under the PMLA.

  3. Recording all transactions


Indian states and their perception of gaming laws

Punjab and Haryana

Gambling is illegal in Punjab[xxxvii]. The first online lottery game was introduced in Punjab, in 2008. The Punjab Gambling Law states that betting, wager or a bet made regarding any horse, mere or gelding competition will amount to gaming. The law further states that a house, room, tent, vehicle, vessel or other place used for gaming purposes should be regarded as a common gaming house. Any article or document used as an accessory for easing gaming should be regarded as an instrument of gaming. Any person who possesses such a gaming house or gaming instrument for making a profit will be guilty. While hearing a petition filed by Advocate VarunGumber, Justice AmitRawal held that taking part in an online fantasy game requires a particular degree of skill, so it would be regarded as gambling.


Online lottery is also known as Internet gambling. During the Congress rule, it was considered illegal. The Punjab Government in 2013 approved online lottery and horse racing. Not only this, but some ministers considered Internet Gambling as a fundraising project. The Cricket Board of Punjab supported this order. The Punjab Government is now earning 30 crores from online lottery expecting to grow ten times more in the years to come.


The State of Telangana

The Government of the State of Telangana has been exceptionally sharp towards guaranteeing the restriction of betting in general, both online and offline. The Telangana Gaming (Amendment) Act, 2017[xxxviii] (hereinafter alluded to as the "Telangana Amendment Act") executes the arrangement of zero resistance against betting which genuinely affects the monetary status and prosperity of the basic public. It covers inside its ambit any demonstration of gambling cash on a dubious occasion, remembering for a game of skill.


Under the arrangements of the said Telangana Gaming Act, Rummy has been recognized not as a game of skill. The President of India has given his consent to the Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Dacoits, Drug-Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Land-Grabbers (Amendment) Bill, 2017[xxxix] (hereinafter alluded to as the "Bill") which makes culpable the demonstrations betting or wagering on games of skill like rummy.

The recently authorized Act would punish the playing of rummy on physical just as virtual media.


Gujarat Poker laws

Poker is an illegal game in Gujarat[xl]. A petition was filed by the Indian Poker Association’s secretary KN Suresh and Advocate MaluinPandya. They claimed that IPA came into an agreement with YMCA Club to build poker players who can represent India at the International level. They cited state law in its petition stating that poker does not form a part of gambling and hence it will not be covered under the scope of the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887[xli]. Justice Sonia Gokani asked for the government's reply about the legal aspects of the popular card game.


Illegal casino raided

According to the gambling laws of Gujarat, any gaming instrument seized in any room is considered illegal. In 2014, following this law, Bangalore’s Central Crime Branch (CCB) raided an illegal mobile casino. It is reported that 61 persons were detained by the police along with 70 mobiles, packets of ganja, bottles of whisky and 1977 gambling tokens.


IPL betting laws

Three cricketers were arrested by the Police under the gambling laws in India. S Sreesanth, AjitChandila and AnkeetChavan associated with the Indian Premier League were arrested from the Landmark hotel in Kanpur which was hosting the teams of Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions. The investigation operation conducted by the Superintendent of Kanpur Police reported that they had seized Rs 40.90 lakh in cash and five mobile phones.


Poker and Rummy is Games of Skill

The verdict given by the Gujarat High Court on the legality of poker served as the biggest milestone in the history of gambling. The court held rummy, poker, bridge games and naps as the games of skill.


Mumbai

Casino games, video slot games etc, are banned but you can enjoy playing them online.


Gambling laws in Maharashtra

The gambling laws in Maharashtra[xlii] are operated by the Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887[xliii] and states that everyone should abide by the laws of the Public Gaming Act, 1867. Involved in gambling or any other activity involving profit-making is an offence and is a crime punishable by the law of Maharashtra. To own a gaming house and visit it is also illegal. Except for rummy and horseracing every other game is prohibited. Maharashtra has its turf club for organizing horse racing events within their state.


The Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887

According to Maharashtra's Gambling Act, Gambling is illegal in Maharashtra and punishable by law, but the laws are not stringent enough. If one is found possessing a gaming house or conducting such games or even visiting such events then he/she will be subjected to a fine of Rs 200 with imprisonment for one month as an offence committed for the first time. If one is found committing the same offence again then he/she will be subjected to a fine of Rs 200 and imprisonment for 3 months. If one is found to be committing such an offence for the third time then he/she will be imprisoned for 6 months with no fine.


Sports Betting in Maharashtra

Football, tennis, soccer, kabaddiand IPL games are banned in Maharashtra except rummy and horse racing. But people still bet on international betting sites particularly made for Indian payers as Indian law is not allowed to intervene on foreign sites.


Horse Racing in Maharashtra

Horse racing is one of the few legal games that follows the Bombay Race Courses Licencing Act, 1912 and is considered a game of skill followed by the investment of the people. One has to pay 30.90% tax from their winning amount as per Section 115B of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Status on Card Games: Rummy, Poker, Flush etc.


An order passed by the Supreme Court held that playing poker and rummy falls under the list of skill-based games and hence one can play it with their friends and family at home. But it is illegal to play these games in real money clubs or official gaming houses.


The Mahalakshmi Saga: online gaming

This case was a challenge by the Mahalakshmi Cultural Association before the Supreme Court against the impugned order passed by the Madras High Court in the case of Satyanarayana Case(State of Andhra Pradesh v Satyanarayana)[xliv] with relation to the Rummy played in brick and mortar clubs. The background of the case is that the Inspector of the Chennai Police raided the place of the Mahalakshmi Cultural Association because the place was being used for gambling and that the members were playing rummy with stakes and the case was filed against the Association. A writ petition was filed before a single Judge by the association to seek directions forbidding the police from inter alia interfering with the activities being conducted by the association in matters regarding the playing of 13 cards games of rummy with or without stakes. The Court disposed of the writ petition in the favour of the Association on the reason that the rummy is a skill-based game and hence not illegal. This decree passed by the single judge was challenged by the police officials stating that the Madras High Court in the Satyanarayana Case held that if a club or an association allows its members or guests to play rummy with stakes and make a profit out of such play then the police has the power to invoke the Chennai City Police Act. While the SC was heading with the proceeding of the Mahalakshmi Case, an intervention application was filed by Games 24x7 and by Rummy websites pleading for clarification of the order passed by the Madras High Court for the legality of online rummy since their business was getting affected as the banks refused to process payments to the players on this site and also the physical rummy providers had a fear of criminal prosecution. The Supreme Court held that the Impugned Order passed by the Madras High Court did not deal with online Rummy and it will be applied only on the Rummy played in bricks and mortar clubs. Moreover, the Court noted that the State has not yet decided as to whether or not the provision of online Rummy would constitute gambling under the Chennai City Police Act, so the Court did not feel it important to entertain the plea related to the legality of online gaming. Strikingly, the Supreme Court has not yet convincingly managed the legality of online gaming.

Although, it was expected that the Supreme Court will lie down the law related to what business models (including online) would amount to gambling as restricted under the State Gambling legislations yet the matter remains grey.


Bombay High Court's observation in the case of Dream 11

In 2017, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana in the case of Shri Varun Gumber v Union of India and Ors[xlv] held that Dream11 is a skill-based online fantasy sport and playing it does not equal gambling. Dream 11 is a fantasy sports platform based in India that allows users to play fantasy hockey, cricket, kabaddi, football and basketball. The Punjab and Haryana High Court held that no betting or gambling is involved in the fantasy game employed by Dream11 and the result is not dependent upon winning or losing of any particular team in the real world on any given day. A Criminal Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed against Dream11 before the Bombay High Court. The PIL claimed that Dream11 was carrying out illegal functioning of gambling/betting/wagering in the guise of Online Fantasy Sports Gaming (“OFSG”) and hence should be punished under the Public Gambling Act, 1867 (“Act”). The PIL then claimed that Dream11 breached the Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017 (“CGST Act'')[xlvi] read with Rule 31A of Central Goods and Service Tax Rules, 2018 (''CGST Rules' ')[xlvii].


The Bombay High Court in this case agreed with the decision of Punjab and Haryana High Court and held that the games played on the Dream 11 platform were games of skill and not games of chance. The court held that if the consequence of the game is set merely by chance or accident, any money put on stake with the cognizance of risk and desire to gain would be ‘gambling’ or ‘betting’. Since that is not the situation of fantasy games played on the Dream 11 platform, the same does not amount to gambling or betting. It held that just if their OFSG is ‘gambling’ or ‘betting’, there is an extension to deduce the possibility of any tax evasion. It further decided that the sums pooled by the players in the security account are an ‘actionable claim’ as the equivalent is to be dispersed among the winning participants according to the result of the game. OFSG on Dream 11’s platform is not like betting or gambling, the High Court decided that money pooled by the players cannot be exposed to GST.


Suggestions to the existing legislations

  • It is suggested[xlviii] to introduce a gambling tax similar to the application of luxury tax as it can provide a higher tax revenue collection that will safeguard the economically vulnerable from falling into prey.

  • To protect the economic and social interests of minors, a law must be introduced to prohibit minors from placing bets.

  • The establishment of a gambling association is just as it is responsible for the regulation and administration of bets. Registration must be made mandatory and the commission must allow licenses on analyzing the source and flow of money placed in the transaction and the tax paid before allowing licenses. It will keep a check on illegal gambling in India, hence, giving protection to the bettors who fall prey to bookies.

  • In the constitutional context, it is significant to amend the Gambling Act, of 1867 to incorporate ‘authorized games’ on which bets can be set if it is taxed and transaction enlisted. Right now, the Gambling Act precludes betting yet this does not apply to ‘Games off skills’ exposing the horseracing-cricket legislative distinction. Consequently, there is a need to part with the current characterization and set up an approved list of sports that bets can be put upon.

  • All the guidelines must be illustrated under entry 42 of the Union list that deals with interstate trade and commerce to protect the business interests of the parties involved in betting.

  • The Information Technology Act, 2000 should expand to direct online sports betting transactions and their legitimacy vis-à-vis the Constitution. To help this, Entry 31 of the union list relating to phones and different methods of broadcasting and communication should be altered to chalk out administrative instruments, for example, tracking the age of the bettor online, requesting a tax return from online betting transactions to guarantee the appropriateness of the IT Act successfully

  • The central government should likewise assume the liability of forcing implicit rules, practices and techniques alongside making authorizing brokers compulsory. Such licenses should be repudiated on the non-installment of taxes or illegal exchange of the cash placed in cash, particularly to terrorist or mafia associations.

  • To advance games that are not in the commercial spotlight, the Government can restrict the sum put down on bets of a specific game, along these lines guiding wagers to be put on sports that have recently been disregarded. This can activate those games that need the monetary help and consolation recently repudiated.


Conclusion

Internet Gaming is a multi-crore industry in India. Notwithstanding this reality, we have no devoted Online Gaming and Online Gambling Laws in India. This has made the Legal Position in regards to Online Games like Rummy, Poker, and so on truly befuddling and cloudy. Because of assorted legitimate activities and circumstances, the matter has reached under the steady gaze of the Supreme Court of India. Notwithstanding, there are incredibly mistaken assumptions and misguided judgments in regards to the idea of present legitimate procedures under the steady gaze of the Indian Supreme Court.


For example, the centre issue under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court relates to the Legality of playing Rummy with Cash Stakes. The Supreme Court for this situation isn't worried about Online Rummy and it is certainly not worried about Online Poker, Supreme Court has completely referenced that it would not choose the legitimacy of online poker or online rummy till the Indian government comes out with an approach choice in such a manner. Before, the Supreme Court requested that the Indian government explain its stand concerning online rummy however the public authority wouldn't give any assessment in such a manner. Accordingly, the lawfulness of online poker or online rummy is as yet an ill-defined situation and online gaming and betting partners should conform to the relevant laws of India till the Indian government comes up with some strategy or law in such a manner.


The situation on a date is that online games sites in India are now in an in-between state and now the Supreme Court of India has made this position unsure and lawfully powerless. According to the most recent request of the Supreme Court, it has wouldn't choose the legitimateness or illicitness of online games like poker, rummy, and so forth The Supreme Court has explained that the current petitions before it relate to offline rummy just and overseeing on the online rummy or online poker is as yet a legitimately unsafe territory.


Presently the ball is in the Indian government's court and it needs to think of rules and guidelines in regards to internet games and web-based betting exercises in India. The Indian government needs to choose about the skills as opposed to betting rules as well as the techno lawful viewpoints that are owing to utilization of innovation in online gaming.


References

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2. https://www.icsi.edu/media/portals/22/Gaming%20Laws.pdf.

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7. https://www.gamblingindiainfo.com/gambling-laws-in-india/gambling-laws-punjab.

8. https://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Report276.pdf.

9. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/blue-whale-challenge-and-other-games-of-death/articleshow/60135835.cms.

10. https://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Report276.pdf.

[i]Nishith Desai Associates, “The Curious Case of the Indian Gaming Laws”, 2019, http://www.nishithdesai.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/Research%20Papers/The_Curious_Case_of_the_Indian_Gaming_Laws.pdf. [ii]In Re: NimmagaddaRaghavalu v Unknown, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1254350/. [iii] Supra at (i) [iv]HrithikUmla, “Gambling laws in India”, LegalService India, https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-2225-gaming-laws-in-india.html . [v] The Public Gambling Act, 1867, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1824663/. [vi]Supra at (iv) [vii] Ibid [viii] Ibid [ix] Ibid [x] Internet Freedom Foundation, “IFF files PIL against the PUBG Ban in Gujarat”, https://internetfreedom.in/iff-files-pil-against-the-pubg-ban-in-gujarat/ . [xi]CS S. Ravishankar, “ON LINE GAMING, GAMING LAWS & LEGAL PUZZELS IN INDIA”, https://www.icsi.edu/media/portals/22/Gaming%20Laws.pdf . [xii] “Pokémon Go spawns policy and legal puzzles”, Livemint, https://www.nishithdesai.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/Research%20Articles/Pokemon_Go_spawns_policy_and_legal_puzzles.pdf . [xiii]Kalpana Sharma, “The reality behind the theory of killer game ‘Blue Whale’”, Times of India, https://m.timesofindia.com/life-style/health-fitness/de-stress/the-reality-behind-the-theory-of-killer-game-blue-whale/amp_articleshow/59881467.cms . [xiv]JoyshreeBaruah, “Blue Whale Challenge and other 'games' of death”, Economic Times, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/blue-whale-challenge-and-other-games-of-death/articleshow/60135835.cms . [xv][xv]Supra at (i) [xvi] Section 292 and 294 of the IPC [xvii] Section 67, 67A and 67B of IT Act [xviii]Section 2(c) of the Indecent Representation of Women(Prohibition) Act, 1986. [xix] Supra at (xvxv) [xx] Copyright Act, 1957, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1136195/. [xxi]Trademark Act, 1999, https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/1993?locale=en. [xxii]Supra at (xix) [xxiii] 2015 (62) PTC 351 (Madras) [xxiv] Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”), https://trai.gov.in/ . [xxv] Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010, https://trai.gov.in/sites/default/files/201205301159277252627regulation1dec2010.pdf . [xxvi] Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2018, http://www.bareactslive.com/ACA/act3205.htm . [xxvii]Supra at (xxii) [xxviii] FDI Policy, https://dipp.gov.in/foreign-direct-investment/foreign-direct-investment-policy . [xxix] Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, https://dor.gov.in/foreignexchangemanagement/foreign-exchange-management-act-1999-42-1999 . [xxx]Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transaction) Rules, 2000, https://dor.gov.in/foreignexchangemanagement/foreign-exchange-management-act-1999-42-1999 . [xxxi] Section 2(1)(w) of the IT Act [xxxii] AIR 2015 SC 1523 [xxxiii]Section 66A in The Information Technology Act, 2000, https://indiankanoon.org/doc/170483278/ . [xxxiv]2017 (69) PTC 1 (DEL) [xxxv]Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/2036?sam_handle=123456789/1362 . [xxxvi]Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Act 2012, https://dor.gov.in/sites/default/files/PML%20%28Amendment%29%20Act%2C%202012.pdf . [xxxvii]RajibKar, “Gambling Laws in Punjab”, Gambling India Info, https://www.gamblingindiainfo.com/gambling-laws-in-india/gambling-laws-punjab . [xxxviii][xxxviii]Telangana Gaming (Amendment) Act, 2017, http://www.bareactslive.com/TEL/tel061.htm . [xxxix]Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Dacoits, Drug-Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Land-Grabbers (Amendment) Bill, 2017, http://law.telangana.gov.in/pdf/Ordinance%20No.%203%20of%202017.pdf . [xl]RajibKar, “Gambling Laws in Gujarat”, Gambling India Info, https://www.gamblingindiainfo.com/gambling-laws-in-india/laws-gambling-betting-gujarat-india . [xli] Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887, https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/4509?sam_handle= . [xlii]RohitParmar, “Maharashtra Gambling Laws For Indian Players in 2022”, Pro Indian Casino, https://www.proindiancasinos.com/gambling-laws/maharashtra/ . [xliii] The Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887 [xliv] 1967 (266) SC [xlv] CWP No. 7559 of 2017 [xlvi]Central Goods and Service Tax Act, 2017, https://www.cbic.gov.in/resources/htdocs-cbec/gst/CGST-Act-Updated-30.09.2020.pdf . [xlvii]Central Goods and Service Tax Rules, 2018, https://taxguru.in/goods-and-service-tax/central-goods-services-tax-amendment-act-2018.html . [xlviii] Law Commission of India, Report No 276th, “LEGAL FRAMEWORK:GAMBLING AND SPORTS BETTINGINCLUDING IN CRICKET IN INDIA”, https://lawcommissionofindia.nic.in/reports/Report276.pdf .