wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Why Telangana is being cautious about regulating real money gaming platforms

The Telangana IT Secretary emphasised the need to pass online gambling legislation that wouldn’t suffer judicial setbacks.

“We are treading cautiously when it comes to [online] gaming,” Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce (I&C) Department & Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C), Government of Telangana, said, referring to online betting and wagering platforms. “Blanket banning is not a solution, one needs to have a distinction between games of skill and games of chance. The pushbacks from law enforcement and other agencies are largely driven by games of chance. We cannot rule out that certain things can’t be manipulated, the need is to understand how we navigate the regulatory framework, we also need to dive deeper and find a middle path… We are taking certain steps in Telangana, but want to ensure that these are not challenged by courts or lead to public outcry,” he added.

Ranjan was speaking at GATO’21, an event organised by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). His remarks come even as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana’s neighbouring state, banned all forms of betting and wagering in the state. Telangana appears, from Ranjan’s remarks, to prefer that games of skill continue to operate under restrictions and regulations that won’t be struck down by the courts, like what happened with Tamil Nadu’s law. But there is some movement in the state government — Ranjan said in a different event on August 25 that the Telangana government is working on a self-regulation framework for online real money gaming platforms.

Central law coming?

“Centrally, it would help if the Central Government recognises certain games of skill and legislates over them. We can replicate some global models too where one needs to obtain a license to operate the games under specific conditions,” said Bhavin Pandya, Co-Founder and CEO, Games24x7.

Pandya’s wish may just come true: as MediaNama reported exclusively, the central government is exploring a “uniform approach” to regulate online gaming and gambling.

Both states and the central government are somewhat powerless in regulating betting and gambling platforms online; apps and websites can only be blocked by the central government (something the IT Minister clarified in a letter to Andhra Pradesh’s Chief Minister), and the central government can’t block these platforms because constitutionally the power to regulate betting and gambling rests with the states.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

As explained by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology recently, different states have different approaches. Most states’ legislations don’t cover online gambling, as these laws are older than the internet. But states that tried prohibiting betting and gambling apps instead of setting up a licensing framework may suffer setbacks; the Madras High Court’s striking down of Tamil Nadu’s law, based tightly on Supreme Court precedent, may leave states powerless in how they approach these platforms.

How states approach real money gaming

Judicial setbacks aren’t stopping states from trying to outlaw real money gaming, skill-based or chance-based: Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh appear to be moving towards a ban on online betting platforms. While Uttar Pradesh’s proposed law has loose exceptions for games of skill, Karnataka only exempts horse racing.

  • Sikkim‘s Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008 is “the first Indian legislation to expressly permit and regulate online gaming,” MEITY said in its affidavit with the Delhi High Court. However, “the State Government restricted the offering of ‘online games and sports games’ to the physical premises of ‘gaming parlours’ through intranet gaming terminals within the geographical boundaries of the State by enacting the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015.”
  • Nagaland enacted the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act in 2015. This law “seeks to have pan-India application by extending the applicability of the said Act to all those States where the games so being offered are legally permissible ‘games of skill,’” MEITY said.
  • Andhra Pradesh amended its gaming act to prohibit online betting and “online games for money or other stakes”. The ban is being challenged at the Andhra Pradesh High Court, though it is unclear who the petitioners are.

Also read

Have something to add? Post your comment and gift someone a MediaNama subscription.

Written By

I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



Looking at the definition of health data, it is difficult to verify whether health IDs are covered by the Bill.


The accession to the Convention brings many advantages, but it could complicate the Brazilian stance at the BRICS and UN levels.


In light of the state's emerging digital healthcare apparatus, how does Clause 12 alter the consent and purpose limitation model?


The collective implication of leaving out ‘proportionality’ from Clause 12 is to provide very wide discretionary powers to the state.


The latest draft is also problematic for companies or service providers that have nothing to with children's data.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ