A PIL has been moved to the Delhi High Court in order to seek directions from the Centre to take steps to ban websites accessible from India which allow online betting and real money gaming. The petition argues that despite there being laws in various states against such activity, there is little enforcement and these websites still act freely.
The plea made by Avinash Mehrotra states that
“It is submitted that all these activities, though expressly prohibited by law, are being carried out because of a lack of enforcement of the laws in question.”
It also claims that because the online gambling system in India is unregulated, it’s “a great place for carrying out hawala operations, laundering money, etc.”
“In fact, it is submitted that Foreign Exchange laws, as well as Income Tax laws, are also likely being violated today by the online gambling websites.” A similar petition was filed last year as well although it was disposed of.
The central government had to inform Avinash Mehrotra that they did not have the legislative competence to ban or block websites. In addition to a ban, Mehotra seeks back taxes from players and bettors, and the operators. He has also sought a direction to the Centre to ”prosecute the unscrupulous owners/proprietors, and the promoters of the online gambling websites, in accordance with law”. Many such PIL’s have been filed to ban online real money gaming but no decision has been made in favour of the ban.