How Odisha law saving youth from online gambling

Bhubaneswar: With the advent of online gaming portals that host card games like rummy with an option to bet real money, youngsters elsewhere in the country are seen indulging in gambling activities in absence of any law to prevent it there. However, the Orissa Prevention of Gaming Act-1955 has saved Odia youths from falling into this trap of online betting.

From what was essentially a club-oriented indulgence and would peak among certain sections during Diwali, these games rummy have now become a year-round indulgence for revellers in most part of the country. These portals are exempted from gambling laws since rummy is considered as a “game of skill” according to a 1967 Supreme Court ruling, and the gambling laws only apply to a “game of chance”.

These portals, however, are not operational in Odisha and Assam due to amended State laws. The Orissa Prevention of Gaming Act, 1955, and the Assam Game and Betting Act, 1970, do not create any exception for games of skill.

India’s prohibitive legislation has paved the way for illegal gambling activities, unlike Macau which is widely heralded as the hub of legalised gambling across the world. According to the Goa, Daman and Diu Public Gambling Act, 1976, casinos can be set up only at five-star hotels or offshore vessels with prior permission of the government.