Online Gambling

Internet Casinos Inc. (ICI), the world’s first online casino, started operating from August 18, 1995, with 18 different games. Since then more than 1,400 websites, mostly domiciled in small Caribbean islands, have given rise to an industry that grosses over $3 billion a year. In fact no business on the Internet earns more revenue than online gambling. Out of the estimated 14.5 million online gamblers, almost 30 per cent are from Asia.

A bet can be placed in minutes. Anyone with a credit card can set up an offshore currency account with a gambling site, leaving them free to place bets on sporting events like Wimbledon, cricket, horse racing and Formula One, or join a virtual casino to play slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker etc. Companies like Flutter and Betmart accept bets on anything from who is going to win the Nobel Prize to whether Madonna is getting a divorce or not. Bets can range from a nickel to thousands of dollars and according to whether you win or lose the amount is automatically adjusted to your account. The final balance can then either be mailed to you or left for future bets.

The law relating to online gambling in India needs to be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. At the outset, gambling, although not absolutely prohibited in India, does not receive express encouragement by policy makers. The Indian organized gambling industry is estimated to be worth around US$8 billion. While stringent laws have checked the proliferation of casinos and high street gaming centres as in many other countries, barring the state of Goa, the lottery business remains the most post popular form of gambling.

Though gambling is not illegal, it is a highly controlled and regulated activity. Modern India is a quasi-federal Constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at the federal as well as the state levels. Gambling features in List II of the Constitution of India, this implies that the state governments have the authority to enact laws in order to regulate gambling in the respective states. Thus, there is no single law governing gambling in the entire country. Different states have different laws governing gambling in addition to the laws that have an application across the country. While some states have banned lotteries, other states allow state government lotteries marketed and distributed in other lottery playing and promoting states through private entities.

Regulation of gambling

The courts have defined gambling as ‘the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize’. The dominant element of skill or chance shall determine the nature of the game. A game may be deemed to be gambling if the element of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. As a result, Indian courts have held that betting on horse racing and a few card games are not gambling. The right to undertake the business of gambling and lotteries is not considered as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India. It may however be pointed out that the state government run lotteries make significant contributions to the state exchequer of several state governments and the Union government, and hence there is a resistance to complete prohibition.

The following legislation is pertinent to gambling:

The Public Gaming Act, 1867

This Act provides punishment for public gambling and for keeping of a ‘common gaming house’. This Act also authorises the state governments to enact laws to regulate public gambling in their respective jurisdictions. The penal legislations in respective states have been amended in accordance with their policy on gambling. However, this legislation does not have any direct impact on online gambling unless a wide interpretation is given to the definition of common gaming house so as to include virtual forums as well.

The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (ICA)

The ICA is a codified umbrella legislation that governs all commercial contracts in India. Under the ICA, a wagering contract is the one which cannot be enforced. The Act lays down; ‘Agreements by way of wager are void, and no suit shall be brought for recovering anything alleged to be won on any wager or entrusted to any person to abide by the result of any game or other uncertain event on which any wager is made’. Gambling, lottery and prize games have held to be wagering contracts and thus void and unenforceable. While a wagering contract is not illegal, it cannot be enforced in a court of law. Thus, the courts will not entertain any cause of action that arises out of a wagering contract.

Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998

This Act provides a framework for organizing lotteries in the country. Under this Act, the state governments have been authorized to promote as well as prohibit lotteries within their territorial jurisdiction. This Act also provides for the manner in which the lotteries are to be conducted and prescribes punishment in case of breach of its provision. Lotteries not authorized by the state have been made an offence under the Indian Penal Code. Several non-lottery playing states, like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have prohibited the sale of other state-government lotteries under this Act.

Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 294A deals with keeping lottery office. It says that whoever keeps any office or place for the purpose of drawing any lottery not being a State lottery or a lottery authorised by the State Government, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

And whoever publishes any proposal to pay any sum, or to deliver any goods, or to do or forbear doing anything for the benefit of any person, on any event or contingency relative or applicable to the drawing of any ticket, lot, number or figure in any such lottery, shall be punished with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

Internet gambling

The law related to gambling is also applicable to online gambling. All gambling contracts are considered to be wagering contracts and it is not possible to enforce such contracts under the ICA, detailed above.

As pointed out earlier, the online lottery is the most popular form of internet gambling in India. Most companies marketing and distributing or conducting state government-sponsored lotteries through the internet are not allowed to sell their services in the states that banned lotteries. In most cases, these marketers and distributors limit their online services to consumers who are residents of the states where a lottery is permissible. Notwithstanding the fact there has been no reported case of breach by any company promoting online lotteries, most of these companies (as a safeguard) seek an undertaking from their consumers relating to their residence.

There have been instances where one state has banned the lottery of other states, including online lotteries. In a recent case, the Karnatka High Court upheld the decision of the Karnataka government to make itself a ‘lottery free zone’ by imposing a ban on lotteries of all other states, including online lotteries under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998. The state government, in this case, directed the closure of the terminals and kiosks selling the online lotteries.

Enforcement over foreign jurisdictions

If the websites are hosted and operated from outside India, it may be difficult for the Indian authorities to issue any directive to close them down or prohibit their access without using its blocking powers under the ITA. The authorities have little to worry about, as Indian foreign exchange laws do not permit remittances outside India for gambling related activity, such as the purchase of lottery tickets, football pools and sweepstakes. As a result, a gambling website hosted outside India aiming at receiving money from within India cannot do so through legal channels.

Reasons Which Make Video Games the Most Addictive Interface

Talk about video games and all heads start turning. In the present scenario where the technology is advancing rapidly, the games are gaining huge momentum. Whether kids, youngsters or even elderly people, all seem to have swayed with its addiction. These have been in existence for quite a while now and is also one of the largest source of entertainment around us. To understand it better, let us have a close overview of the types of games and the negative and positive effects it has.

Types of Video interface games- These are of various kinds and have different skill sets, with time limitations as well, some are quite basic while others are too advanced. A few of them are-

• Casual Play Games- These games are generally of small duration and are easy to play. They do not need any specific software or system.

• Online gaming – These types of games can be played on any sort of browser and thus attracts a larger audience, involves strategy and role plays. These games need no specific operating system and are more often played by dedicated gamers.

• Social Network games- These are very common games which are played with the help of social networking forums in order to access its users.

Effects of Video Console Games- Playing such games comes very naturally to kids, something which needs not to be taught to them and they get well conversant with it as they keep playing and has its own effects, some which are quite positive, while others which are detrimental to the health and the overall well- being. Let us take a look at its positive and negative sides.

Positive Effects

• It is said that playing video console games makes the brain very sharp and improves hand eye synchronization.

• They become more adept in facing situations later in life as the skill sets of each level are different and they have to keep the pace going in order to play the game.
Negative Effects

• It is more of an addiction and kids give it the foremost importance.

• The attention diverts from studies due to playing games

• Few games involve getting violent in order to kill the opponent and win it so the player starts practicing the same in the real life as well.

• Physical exercise gets reduced as kids want to play video games and not outdoor games.

Even though video games are the most comfortable and user friendly gadgets for people of all ages, especially kids, yet if proper care is not taken it can prove hazardous for the health. So it is of utmost importance that these are given for a stipulated time and are played under proper guidance.

Read Through Several Video Game Reviews To Pick The Best One

Are you afraid of getting your kid into the wrong influence of video games? Are you thinking of buying a new game and don’t want to waste your time and money on the wrong one? Video game reviews will help you to understand the pros and cons of them, before buying for yourself or allowing your kids to play on it.

Video games are electronic games that can produce visual feedback on screen and monitors with the help of the user interface. They are available for all types of gamers, from middle-aged parents to teenagers, to the kids in your home. The different genres of games, like shooting, educational, role play games, etc. can give a different experience to the gamers.

Video games with extra violence, sexual part or abusive languages can be a bad influence on the gamer. It is always important to select the one with appropriate contents and that is beneficial for you. If the gamer is your kid, then it is your responsibility to give them a good one.

At this point in time, there are many types of video games, both good and bad available at the market. To choose the right one, it is better to look out for the reviews and ratings they have got. First of all, you should decide on the game you want to download or buy and then search for the reviews on the internet.

There are ratings given by the Entertainment Software Rating Board for a video game, which can be less accurate at times. But for initial researches they can give you the knowledge, whether the game is good for children, or whether they have violence or abusive languages in them, etc.

Different rating codes are: E for everyone; T for teen (age 13+); M for mature (age 17+); RP for rating pending; AO for adults only (age 18+); EC for early childhood (age 3+). These letters can be found on the box of the video game and a brief description of the contents can be found at the back side.

Once you have selected the game of your favourite genre according to the rating, then it is the best time to read real-time reviews on it. As the rating may sometimes fool you a bit, these reviews from those who have already experienced the game can give you an exact idea of the video game.

These reviews help you to decide whether it is appropriate for your younger ones or whether it is the right one for you as well. Some websites may also include expert gamer reviews; commenting about the technical facts like graphics quality, lags, etc. of the game.

At times, you will also come across reviewers who give good or bad ratings for fun or for their own benefits. So it is always advisable to do your own researches and ask your gaming friends for suggestions.