MP HC asks state to take concrete steps on online gaming, betting and gambling in three months

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to take concrete steps for regulating online gambling/gaming and allied activities within the next three months. The direction came on 29 August 2022 in a bail application where the accused illegally withdrew a sum of INR 8,50,000 from the bank account of his grand father.

In the earlier hearing in June, the High Court bench sought affidavits from central and state governments on remedial actions against online gambling.

Responding to the directions of the Court, the central government said gambling and betting is a state subject. Interestingly, the state government said that appropriate law is been framed at the central level. While details are not yet out, the state government may be referring to the proposed Digital India Act.

But noting the central government submission that betting and gambling is a state subject, the Court directed the state government to come up with concrete measures against online gambling within three months.

Importantly, the state government had sought six months from the Court in the matter, stating that after the court’s order in the present case in June 2022, the central government had convened a meeting of all the home secretaries of different states July 21 and now the matter is at the level of Inter State Advisory Committee to decide as to what steps are to be taken in regard to online gaming etc.

“In any case this issue having wider ramifications on the economic, physiological and physical health of youth of the country cannot wait for in inordinately long period, therefore, instead of six months time as prayed by the Principle Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh Department of Law and Legislative Affairs, three months time is granted to bring on record concrete/action taken report,” read the order dated 29 August 2022