Gaming Bill passed amid apprehensions

The Legislative Council late on Thursday night passed the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021, that bans online gaming and betting amid doubts expressed by the Opposition members over its effectiveness.

Leader of Opposition S.R. Patil said the Bill may not stand the scrutiny of law as there are several High Court and Supreme Court directions considering them as game of skills. “Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken in favour it in his Man Ki Baat, and Niti Aayog has also favoured it.”

Congress Chief Whip M. Narayanswamy urged the government to reconsider the Bill since thousands of jobs in gaming sector were at stake, and it brought revenues to the government.

While the Janata Dal (Secular) member Bhoje Gowda felt that the Bill would not succeed, another JD(S) member Marithibbe Gowda said that unless this Bill was formed at a national level, it would not be effective.

Home Minister Araga Jananendra said that much thought had gone into bringing the Bill. “We can block online gaming apps under the IT Act. This is a good experiment. We can bring changes if necessary,” he said.

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