Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced today that the state government has decided to enact a new Madhya Pradesh Gambling Act, 2023 that would contain appropriate provisions against online gambling.
Speaking to reporters, Chouhan said, “Online gambling is a big problem. The present Gambling Act in the state is of 1876, and it does not have any provision against online gambling. So, we have decided that Madhya Pradesh Gambling Act 2023 will be made in place of the current Gambling Act.”
He further stated that the new Gambling Act will have sufficient measures to prohibit online gambling, and will provide scope for appropriate punishment to violators. Notably, the state government has been contemplating introducing a law to ban online gambling and regulate online gaming in the last few months.
In December 2022, the state formed a task force to investigate technical, legal, and other aspects of banning online gambling. Incidentally, the state government was also given a directive by the MP High Court in August of last year to take steps to control illegal gambling.
Following the order last year, the high court criticized the MP government over the delay in enacting the law. The state had appealed to the division bench against Justice Vivek Agarwal’s single judge bench ruling that quashed all the orders pertaining to the state’s suo moto note on the problem of online gambling.
Madhya Pradesh is planning to follow in the footsteps of Tamil Nadu which has recently banned online gambling in the state. Anyone who engages in the same can be fined up to Rs 5,000 and jailed for three months while people providing gambling services can be fined Rs 10 lakh or imprisoned for three years or both.