Gaming Laws Part II- Land Based Gaming


During the Pre-Constitutional era, Gaming in India was essentially governed by the Public Gambling Act, 1867 (hereinafter referred to as "PGA") which was an enactment primarily modelled in line with the English Gaming Act, 1845 and the Betting Act, 1853. The said legislations enacted by the British Parliament preponderantly geared to render the wagering agreements unenforceable in the Court of law, inevitably overturned the Unlawful Games Act, 1541 that made even the games of skill including tennis and bowling illegal. The PGA, which proscribes gambling activities and the operating of common gaming houses however does not make the games of skills unlawful, appears to signify a similar standpoint. After the Constitution was brought into force, the regulatory concerns looming around gaming got bifurcated between the State and the Centre by virtue of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution. The State Legislatures got the upper hand in terms of legislative power related to betting and gambling activities for being listed under Entry 34 of List II i.e., the State List. The Parliament of India was termed as the suitable authority to legislate on lottery for it being listed in Entry 40 of List I i.e., the Union List under Seventh Schedule. Further, Entry 62 of the State List provides for imposition of tax on betting and gambling too.

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