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Delhi HC Seeks Centre stand on PIL concerning online gaming

Sonal Bhargava | Edited by Prabhat Bandhulya

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court sought the stand of the central Government on a petition to regulate online gaming and stop the games that are not games of skills but chance.

The Court asked the petitioner to include the Delhi government as a party to the petition, noting that betting and gaming is a state topic and then issued notice to both the Central and Delhi governments. The petition states that if online gambling and betting are not controlled, it is likely to bring significant harm to society as a whole, as young people with impressionable minds may fall prey to such activities, negatively impacting their personal and professional lives.

The petitioner sought appropriate action against a company that advertised a money-based online cricket game on its website, implying that it was promoting a game of chance. The Centre is allowed under the Information and Technology Act to issue suitable directions prohibiting the operation of unlawful gambling internet platforms. In the petition filed by Advocated Atul Batra, he argued that online betting/gambling is just as bad as any other form of substance abuse. As a result, orders, writs, and directions as sought herein are only just and in the public interest. Since betting and gambling is a state matter, he added that various states have enacted legislation on the subject, but the Central Government has no policy.

As a result, the petitioner argued that the Union government should create a regulatory organisation to control internet gaming, as proposed by the Law Commission. The matter will now be heard on November 16.

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