Monday September 24,2012 : DELHI COURT CONFIRMS ONLINE GAMBLING AN OFFENCE
Banks may refuse to provide services
An internet start-up company founded by alumni from the Indian Institute of Technology who petitioned a Delhi court for an opinion on the legality of a venture it intended to launch involving online games of skill didn't get the determination they were hoping for.
Delhi District Court Judge Ina Malhotra ruled that online sports betting and games of skill involving money in India are deemed illegal and may not enjoy any protection under the constitution.
"Sports betting is an offence in India and bookies earning money from bets laid on games of skill cannot be granted protection under Article 19(1)(g) of the constitution (right to practise any profession or to carry on any occupation)," confirmed the court.
The internet start-up proposed launching its website with an offering of chess, billiards, rummy, poker, snooker and bridge – all games it deemed "games of skill", but sought legal opinion to avoid violating the laws of the Country.
The court ruled that banks could refuse to provide normal services to websites offering any form of wagering or betting saying, "so, while betting or playing for money among players on a game of golf, chess, bridge or billiards may be permitted, they cannot be considered legal if operated by a gaming house."