Online Gambling: Kerala HC issues notice to Virat Kohli

Chief Justice S Manikumar, also issued notices to Malayalam actor Aju Varghese and South Indian actress Tamanna Bhatia.

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday 27 January had issued notice to Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and the state government in a plea seeking a ban on online gambling in the state. A division bench, headed by Chief Justice S Manikumar, also issued notices to Malayalam actor Aju Varghese and South Indian actress Tamanna Bhatia. The celebrities are the brand ambassadors of online rummy games.
 
Petitioner Pauly Vadakkan alleged "online gambling is now a growing menace in the state and the primary targets will be middle to low-income group people who will be enticed to make easy money."
 
Referring to the recent alleged death by suicide of a 28-year-old man, an ISRO employee hailing from Kattakkada in Thiruvananthapuram district, the petitioner said the man had fallen into the trap of online rummy game and pushed himself to debt of Rs 21 lakh.
 
The act extends to gaming activities conducted in a "Common gaming house" (which is an enclosed physical premise such as house, room, tent etc) by using any "instrument of gaming kept or used in such enclosed physical premises for the accrual of profit or gain to the person owning, occupying, keeping such instruments of gaming in the enclosed physical premises. "Thus a person sitting in his private house, using these online gambling platforms from his house arguably may not come within the definition of a common gaming house," the petitioner said.
 
In the plea, the petitioner noted that various High Courts, particularly the high court of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, have directed their respective jurisdictional state legislatures to explore the possibilities regulating online gaming.

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