Goa Joins List Of States Hostile To Online Skill Games

July 25, 2022
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The leader of the Indian state of Goa has apparently promised to ban or curtail online rummy, poker and other online skill games, bringing the state in line with recent local government defiance of court rulings in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

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The leader of the Indian state of Goa has apparently promised to ban or curtail online rummy, poker and other online skill games, bringing the state in line with recent local government defiance of court rulings in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant told state lawmakers on Friday (July 22) that he will “take action on it”, after a lawmaker complained that online gaming apps endanger the welfare of young people.

It was not immediately clear what that action will be or how quickly it would be implemented.

Sawant was responding to Sankalp Amonkar, a lawmaker with the Congress party, who cited bans on online skill gaming in numerous Indian states.

“Many governments have banned it and hence the Goa government should also ban online Rummy Circle gaming,” Amonkar said, referring to the popular Rummy Circle platform.

“Rummy, Three Cards, Pokers et cetera are dangerous,” he said.

“These are easily accessible to youth. They are addicted to these games. Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam, Orissa, Nagaland have banned online gambling,” he added, without noting the legalisation of online skill gaming in Sikkim and Nagaland.

The call to specifically ban online skill gaming in Goa is more reminiscent, however, of growing battles between the governments and legislatures of Tamil Nadu and Kerala and their respective high courts, with the latter backing the industry and annulling bans on online skill gaming.

Goa is the home of Indian hard-top casino gaming, with a number of riverboats continuing to offer casino table games and slots and several hotels offering slots only.

The riverboats are the subject of many years of abortive attempts to relocate them to a land-based precinct near a proposed international airport in the north of Goa.

The inability of the Goan government to execute this strategy, along with severe delays and changes in direction in wider gaming regulation and enforcement over the years, suggest that any ban on online gaming may struggle with similar delays.

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