South Indian States Make Push For Legalized Gambling
South Indian states are definitely a lot more conservative than most of the other states in the country. However, the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have taken a step forward when it comes to legalizing gambling in their respective states. The two states have taken different approaches to this main goal and many of the other states will be keeping a close watch on proceedings.
Madras High Court Proposes Online Gambling Law
Tamil Nadu is interested in legalizing online gambling but some senior politicians are concerned that legalized gambling could lead to problem gambling. This is why the Madras High Court has recommended that state legislators put together gambling legislation which can be reviewed and passed by the Tamil Nadu state government so that online games like rummy and poker will have strict rules to adhere to.
The intended goal is to require operators to get a license and to have a regulatory body to oversee online gambling. The regulator would have the power to shut down illegal gambling operations and enforce compliance for all licensed operators. All this was outlined by Justice B Pugalendhi including his concern that young teenagers become addicted to online games and turn to crime to fuel this addiction.
Additionally, gambling legislation would be to the advantage of the gambling sector. It would encourage more investment in the industry and help push for more employment and development in the area. The judge noted that there are several positive effects on regulation and that other states have also amended their gaming acts to better protect their citizens from various gambling threats.
If the local government does decide to go forward with gambling regulation, the High Court says that it will need to notify all operators so that they can get appropriate feedback from them on how to proceed.
Roland Landers, CEO of the All India Gaming Federation (AIGC), stated that operators be very happy to have a regulatory framework to operate in. The recommendations by the Judge were welcomed by gambling proponents who want the industry to be regulated instead of banned. The push to get all forms of gambling banned is mainly from politicians like Dr. S. Ramadoss and K Ramakrishna who have both called for a complete shutdown of all online rummy and similar sites.
Approval For Online Horse Race Betting In Karnataka
Karnataka has reached a milestone when it comes to sports betting. The Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) received approval in July to start offering online bets on all of the horse races it hosts. The main restriction is that the BTC must follow all of the rules put in place by the state. Many market analysts expect this to be the revival of horse racing in the state while also giving BTC a good revenue stream.
The state government changed some of its own rules to allow BTC to start offering these bets. What exactly changed and how others can profit from it have not been clarified yet but we can expect more details to be made public in August.
As for BTC, major changes are on the way. One sign of this is the fact that they are developing a mobile sports betting app for local users. Only Karnataka residents would able to join in the fun. The app will use geo-location technology to ensure that no one outside of the state can start placing wagers.
Besides horse racing, the local government is also considering online sports betting for multiple sports. This can be a potential source of revenue in the form of betting taxes. These funds can then be used to fund local education and sports development.
The success of BTC’s move to open up Karnataka has gotten the attention of other horse racing clubs in the country. They are also taking similar steps in hopes of getting better results. For example, the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) has petitioned for approval for online sports bets for its races from the state government of Maharashtra. The club is very confident that it will gain approval since they can point to BTC and Karnataka as paving the way.
The Punjab, Harayana and Tamil Nadu racing operations would also be very happy to offer online bets. But the governments in these states are taking a wait and see approach when it comes to online betting. They will want to see whether Karnataka will be able to control its online gambling industry before they take action.
If Tamil Nadu and Karnataka continue to push for gambling legalization, you can expect a number of other states to follow suit.