Saturday March 19,2016 : ANOTHER INDIAN PROVINCE FLIRTS WITH ONLINE GAMBLING (Update)
Nagaland lawmakers approve online skill games legalization….but will the governor sign it into law?
Nagaland, a small province in India, has joined fellow province Sikkim in what is at present a low level legislative flirtation with online gambling at provincial level.
InfoPowa readers will recall that for several years Sikkim has permitted intrastate internet gambling, albeit only via digital terminals in retail betting shops.
Nagaland's rather more direct move has the potential to open up the state's small population to skill games that could include poker, rummy and daily fantasy sports.
The bill, which specifies that games that are predominantly skill rather than chance are not regarded as gambling, has taken 8 months to wend its way through the Nagaland legislative system under the title Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion of Online Games of Skill Bill, 2015.
The process included a review by a select committee, which delivered a positive verdict, leaving only the governor's signature before the measure can be implemented.
Previous court rulings in India have set the precedent that playing a game that predominantly requires the use of skill and knowledge rather than chance, regardless of whether there is wagering or not, does not constitute gambling but is a legitimate business activity.
Local proponents of online gambling hope that if enough Indian states introduce online gambling relevant laws, the federal government will be pressured into following suit. Given the isolated intrastate nature and small populations of Sikkim and Nagaland, that could be awhile coming.