- Online gambling debates in India are not getting closer to a final decision, stalled until November
- Social activist Avinash Mehrotra argued the types of games legalized online gambling would promote are based entirely on chance
- All India Gaming Federation defend their case, pointing out that banning online gambling will not help the country
The decision of the Delhi High Court over whether or not online gambling should be legalized in India seems nowhere close to a resolve. In light of recent events the court’s decision was to postpone the discussion until late November in wait of the central government’s response to the litigation. Avinash Mehrotra, a well-known social activist in India, argues that the games, falling under the category of the discussion, were ones of an entirely chance-based nature and not based on skill, in an attempt to halt the notion. Although the court turned down Mehrotra’s case in May, his attempts are apparently successful, as the matter still remains unresolved.
Online Gambling: Chance or Skill?
The High Court of Delhi, headed by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar, decided to table the talks until the end of November. The subject was picked up earlier this year when Mehrotra filed a Public Interest Litigation lawsuit. The latter part of the decision was based on The Solicitor General of India’s position, which reminded that gambling is a matter of state and with that in mind the National Capital Territory of Delhi must be part of the decision.
Mehrotra has been in the spotlight of the fight against legalized online gambling for some time now. His arguments over being that activities such as poker or betting on sports events, or on elections, are based entirely on chance and require no skill and should, thus, be banned.
The All India Gaming Federation (AGIF), on the other hand, argued that gambling raises skills and awareness, and would also be beneficial to the country’s financial realities.
India’s History with Gambling Matters
When India established a set of laws on betting activities for the first time in 1867, they banned them completely. This is, it turns out, perhaps the country’s only straightforward legislation over gambling matters.
Later, in 1955 the government passed the Prize Competition Act, which allows games “in which prizes are offered for the solution of any puzzle based upon the building up, arrangement, combination or permutation of letters, words or figures.”
Naturally, brick-and-mortar casinos have found their ways through India’s states over the years but the legality of online gambling remains unresolved. While some states have completely banned it, others turn a blind eye over the matter. This makes for a problematic situation for one of the most populated countries on the planet.
In any case, looking at the Western part of the globe’s tendency towards embracing the gambling industry, it could be concluded that regulated gambling seems a much wiser decision than an all-out ban. There are numerous examples of betting safety systems being developed against the formation or exploitation of nasty gambling habits and various other innovations being employed to benefit the house, its guests and at best – its environment.