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Uttar Pradesh law commission proposes online chance-based gambling ban

Playing Cards Gambling

The Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission proposed a ban on online gambling in the state in a June 15 report submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.  However, the report said, “transaction, competition, contest or scheme of wagering, where despite there being an element of chance success depends upon preponderantly on skill, should be deemed to be a ‘game of mere skill’”.

So this leaves the door open for games that are more skill-dependent but still have a chance factor to be allowed in the state. The commission’s chairman, Justice AN Mittal, had spoken of the upcoming draft bill, which is included in the report, back in March.

The law ties in real-world and online gambling together, defining websites and apps as gaming houses in the same right as a physical venue. Penalties for breaking this law can exceed to Rs 5,000 in fines or three years imprisonment.

Other states ban real money gaming

States have been banning “online gaming,” because the real money gaming industry, which includes fantasy sports, some card games, and other such wagering platforms, has successfully argued in courts that games that rely on players’ skill more than pure chance don’t constitute gambling.

Existing bans to different extents of such games have been put in place in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat are reportedly considering putting in place similar restrictions. Meghalaya has legalized and regulated both games of skill and chance.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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