The Center’s online gambling rules are very clear, real money games that announce winners based on predictions are prohibited: ASG


Betting on uncertain events is like gambling and the government’s new rules will ban real money online games that announce winners based on predicting an uncertain outcome, said Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman.

As some industry players try to pass betting as a game of skill under the new rules issued under the Information Technology (IT) Act, the government’s chief legal officer has said that some states are getting it wrong in distinguishing between a game of skill. and a game of chance in the context of betting.

He also emphasized that the provisions should be tested on the basis of the country’s Constitution, statutory provisions and Supreme Court decisions.

“The new rules announced by the center are very clear. There is no ambiguity. Our courts have ruled that betting is illegal, and any business based on betting is res extra commercium, meaning anything outside of commerce. This kind of business cannot be done in India,” Venkataraman told PTI on Tuesday.

In the interview, he noted that placing money on unknown and uncertain events is tantamount to betting, and the new rules prohibit real money online games that announce winners based on guesswork or speculation about an uncertain outcome.

The new rules state that all online games that include a prize element must be registered with self-regulatory organizations (SROs), which include experts in various fields.

If an online game has an element of betting, it is not registered by SROs and such games cannot be placed on the Internet. Any form of advertising related to these online games is also prohibited under the new rules.

According to Venkataraman, states err in trying to distinguish between games of skill and games of chance in the betting context rather than testing their rules based on the Constitution, statutory provisions and various decisions. of the Supreme Court.

Stating that playing the game is different from predicting the outcome of the game, he said: “How do you know that ball is going to be six-four? Will the player be on the game team or not? Will the selected player perform well or not? How do you know you’re going to win a game before it’s even played?

“Today’s bets are placed on these uncertainties, hoping for a higher reward than the amount at risk that the predictions will come true,” Venkataraman said.

Additional Solicitor General as well as Minister of State for Electronics and Computers Rajeev Chandrasekhar clearly explained the new rules in various consultations, but some industry players tried to confuse and protect their games by introducing the concept of games of skill. betting context.

“Let’s take teenage Patty and Cricket for example. The first is a casual game and the second is a skill game. In both genres, the outcome of the game remains unknown and uncertain for both the player and the viewer. .

“When money is thrown into this uncertainty, it becomes a gamble. When money is thrown at the outcome of the game, skill or chance does not matter,” Venkataraman said.

He also cited Supreme Court decisions from 1957 to 1995 that found rate-fixing illegal under relevant national laws and rejected the argument that experts could make predictions based on data sets.

Elaborating further, Venkataraman said that the Supreme Court has ruled that horse racing is a game of skill, but predicting which horse will win and betting on an uncertain outcome is gambling and therefore illegal under existing law.

When asked about the legality of pay-to-play matches that can award cash prizes to the winner, he said that it is legal to pay a fee to participate in a tournament or match, but tossing money to predict who will win the game and earn high returns. is prohibited.

Venkataraman said that in his view on the rules that some states have given exemptions to a set of real money games that claim to be games of skill, states should enact laws accordingly. Approved by the Supreme Court.

“They make the mistake of trying to distinguish between skill play and chance play in the betting context. Such differentiation is directly contrary to the law of the land as promulgated by the Supreme Court.

“When it comes to betting on the unknown and uncertain outcome of a game, it becomes gambling regardless of the nature of the game. Skill or chance is negligible,” he said. The new rules of the Center will apply to everyone, he said. states.

Venkataraman also expressed concern about the impact of online real money gambling on the society and the country as a whole.

He said many sites are controlled from outside India and Indian money is sold outside the country through bogus accounts and to anonymous jurisdictions.

These companies are clearly outside India’s regulatory and tax system and are therefore dangerous to the country’s tax structure, he added.

“On one of the platforms operating outside India, their bank account showed turnover of Rs 14,000. (And) no tax has been paid in India,” Venkataraman said, citing legal action by tax authorities against such platforms.

The lead lawyer also said that the online gambling controversy is not just about legality or otherwise in the context of betting, but there are deep social issues that the government is concerned about.

“There is an element of drug addiction among the youth and loss of hard-earned money of citizens. In addition, possible money laundering and other aspects of crime and abuse cannot be ruled out,” he said.

Xiaomi launched its camera-focused flagship smartphone, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra, while Apple opened its first stores in India this week. We discuss these developments, along with other reports of smartphone rumors and Orbital, on the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and everywhere you get podcasts.

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