Gujarat State Law Commission recommends amending gambling law to include online activities

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The Gujarat State Law Commission (GSLC) has submitted a report to the state government recommending bringing online gambling under the existing gambling law and enhancing its scope by increasing the punishment to a 2-year jail term, reported Ahmedabad Mirror. The report titled “Steps needed to be taken to control cricket betting and online gambling by suitably amending The Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, 1887” was submitted to the state government recently.

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According to the news report, the law body has observed that the proliferation of online gambling platforms has also opened up a new avenue for money laundering. In the last few months, several people have been booked for online gambling using the mobile application ‘Hello Bet’, website ‘’, and other platforms. The commission noted that the law is silent on what punishment should be meted out to online operators.

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Referring to the scope of gambling platforms being used for money laundering, the commission said, “Since gambling becomes a habit and involves a huge volume of transactions and cash flows, which are necessary to disguise money laundering, it can be said that gambling is a perfect tool for money laundering. Gambling does not involve a physical product, making it much more complicated to track the flow of money and, hence, it can be said that gambling may become a means of money laundering.”

It said in the absence of appropriate amendments in the provisions of the Gambling Act, no check or action is being taken when it comes to “online gambling”. The commission said the present law is completely silent on the aspect of “online gambling”.

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If one is caught playing rummy/cards outside or in a gambling den in the State of Gujarat, he would get arrested. However, one cannot be arrested or booked for the offense of gambling if he plays ‘online rummy’. If the online games involve ‘gambling’ and if any website is operating in the State of Gujarat or is engaged in any gambling games, the same should be dealt with strictly. A regulatory framework is needed to regulate ‘online gambling’ and to curb any illegal activity too,” the commission report said.

The report said several of these online games result in money laundering or violation of laws relating to foreign exchange. “The term ‘place’, as defined in the Gambling Act, needs to be amended to the effect that besides a tent, enclosure, space, vehicle, vessel, a recreation club, it also includes a ‘virtual platform, mobile app or internet or any communication device, electronic application, software, online gaming and computer resource’ as defined in The Information Technology Act, 2000,” it said.