December 4-2019
Government: Blocking of online gaming sites is “technologically infeasible”

The Centre told the Delhi High Court  that blocking of online gaming sites, including those of card games, was “technologically infeasible” as many states have enacted laws which partially or fully allow such activities.

On behalf of the central government, the ministry for electronics and information technology (MeitY) said that any potential blocking would have to determine whether the games are games of skill or games of chance, since some state governments have allowed sites to operate the former, while blocking games of chance.

According to BS report, the central government submitted an affidavit before a bench of chief justice DN Patel and justice C Hari Shankar telling the court that blocking online gaming sites such as card games is not technically feasible. The Delhi government, on the other hand, said it can only take action for gambling activities happening offline in Delhi as well as any online gaming sites that are hosted in Delhi. In addition to that court replies to another affidavit submitted by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), that any necessary measures to stop illegal foreign exchange transactions were already in place.

The government was responding to a Delhi High Court order in an ongoing petition to block online gaming sites in India. The Delhi High Court had urged the central government and the Delhi state government to assess the petitioners’ demands to block gaming sites on the basis of skill or chance.

The petitioners Avinash Mehrotra and Deepti Bhagat had claimed that gaming and gambling websites are encouraging people to spend income on games of chance. It claimed no skill was involved in these games and such sites also allowed revenue to leak out of India since many are based outside the country.