Online gambling and gaming is a very lucrative field and it is attracting the attention and interest of both national and international players. However, we have no dedicated online gambling laws in India and the legal jurisprudence in this regard is still evolving. Both the Indian government and law enforcement agencies of India are trying to tackle technology related crimes and offences in India but without much success.
Recently, the Tamil website Savukku was ordered to be blocked by Madras High Court. However, immediately after the order, the website was openly available by using proxy URLs. As per media reports, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh police had sought a ban on the website of “Playwin” which has allegedly been selling online lotteries banned in the state.
While many believe that it would be an easy ride for Playwin in this regard yet this is not as simple as it is appearing. As the matter involved information technology and the website has an online presence, the issues of internet intermediary liability and cyber law due diligence (PDF) would also arise. These issues would not be easy to be countered by Playwin. Recently the 99Acres.com and olx.com/olx.in found themselves in a fix for possible violation of cyber law due diligence and Internet intermediary liability of India. Playwin cannot take this issue lightly in the near future.
Almost all of the online poker websites in India are violating one or other laws of India. Although online gaming market in India is booming yet regulatory compliances cannot be ignored. It seems online gaming and online gambling industry of India is not considering regulations while conducting their businesses in India.
In the present case, CID Additional Director General of Police T Krishna Prasad said that Sikkim government and its marketing agent (Essel Group Lottery Company) organise online lotteries in the lottery free zone states including Andhra Pradesh and the Essel Group Lottery Company sells online lotteries through their website. Accordingly, a letter has been addressed to the Director, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) at New Delhi, with a request to block the operations of the website in Andhra Pradesh, which is a lottery free state, the CID chief said in the statement. The public has been cautioned not to get involved in such lotteries since it is a banned activity in Andhra Pradesh, he said.
The provisional and regular licence under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008 can be granted but they are not enforceable around the India. These licences have their own territorial and other legal limitations. The state of Andhra Pradesh is agitating one such transgression upon its territorial and legal rights. Let us see what legal explanations would be provided by Playwin to escape from the blocking threat.