Having the third highest per capita income in India, Haryana is one of the economically developed states in South Asia. The 21st Indian state regarding area is running a long debate in this state whether to legalise gambling or not. Former Chief Minister of Haryana, Om Prakash Chautala, was inspired by the success of gambling legalisation in Sikkim. Being a huge supporter of online gambling, he submitted a plan to legalise gambling and set up casinos close to Delhi, in Faridabad or Gurgaon. The intention behind his plan was to attract tourists that were visiting Taj Mahal, to boost up state’s economy in terms of tax revenue, tourism and employment. At the same time, the CM had created strict rules which would regulate criminal involvement. However, the central government rejected his plan on 14th June 2005.
Haryana continues to run on the grounds set down by the Public Gaming Act of 1867. This act is dealing with incidences related to gambling across the state. As per this act, a place, room, house, or any other walled enclosure in which dice, cards, tables or other instruments of gaming are kept for the making profit, is considered as a Common Gaming House. Under this law, a person in such territories should be considered as a guilty person. Public Gaming Act of 1867 has 18 sections which are mentioned below.
Section 01: Interpretation Clause
Section 02: Power to Extend Act
Section 03: Penalty for Owning or Keeping, or Having Charge of a Gaming House
Section 04: Penalty for Being Found in Gaming House
Section 05: Powers to Enter and Authorise Police to Enter and Search
Section 06: Finding Cards, etc., in Suspected Houses, to be Evidence that Such Houses are Common Gaming Houses
Section 07: Penalty on Persons Arrested for Giving False Names and Addresses
Section 08: On Conviction for Keeping a Gaming House, Instruments of Gaming to be Destroyed
Section 09: Proof of Playing for Stakes Unnecessary
Section 10: Magistrate May Require any Person, Apprehended to be Sworn and Give Evidence
Section 11: Witnesses Indemnified
Section 12: Act Not to Apply to Certain Games
Section 13: Gaming and Setting Birds and Animals to Fight in Public Streets
Section 14: Offences by whom triable
Section 15: Penalty for subsequent offence
Section 16: Portion of fine may be paid to informer
Section 18: Offences under this act to be “offences” within the meaning of penal code
Fantasy Sports, which indulges one’s love for sports, has already taken the western world by storm. It is a game where a user selects his/her players to form a virtual team, which is subjected to compete in real live matches. This is not related to sports betting or gambling in any manner. Perhaps the fantasy sports will be the next BIG thing to hit the online gaming world. India is divided by religion, culture, habits, cuisine, languages and status. It has a high enthusiasm for sports, especially for cricket. Cricket is the thing if there is one thing that unites all with a stronger force. Due to limited expose, a significant portion of Indian population is yet to experience the joy of Fantasy Sports. Both the Punjab and Haryana High Court consider that the Fantasy Sports need a considerable level of skill, judgment, and discretion. The HC has ruled that playing fantasy sports online does not amount to gambling in an order dated 18th April 2017. A single judge bench of Justice made this rule which includes Justice Amit Rawal and Advocate Varun Gumber.
The current government of Haryana has left the issue of gambling raised a few years ago when the state cabinet was planning to introduce casinos in Gurgaon or Faridabad. Buying lottery tickets, online gambling, or all allied activities are largely prohibited here now. But the concerned matter remains unresolved. Interestingly, betting on racehorse is not banned in this state.