India’s top three lottery operators, Pan India Network Limited, Sugal & Damani and Future Gaming (all three also hold lottery licenses from the Punjab government) have gone on strike in Punjab over the state government’s move to increase lottery tax. It is understood that the lottery operators are on a state-wide strike since 1st September. As per news reports, the Punjab government in a bid to earn additional revenue, had raised lottery tax on single digit draws from Rs. 55,000 to Rs. 80,000 per draw while for lotto and four digit lottery, the tax had been proposed to be raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh and from Rs 85,000 to Rs 2 lakh respectively.
Two years after Mahalakshmi Cultural Association, a Chennai based club filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court against an adverse Madras High Court ruling that prohibited playing of rummy for stakes; the Supreme Court on 12th and 13th August 2014 finally heard the submissions of the petitioners (Mahalakshmi Cultural Association,online rummy companies Head Infotech Ltd, Play Games 24×7 Pvt Ltd and other rummy clubs). According to a report in Economic Times, a division bench comprising of Justices MI Khalifullah and Shiva Kirti Singh heard submissions of Senior Advocates Kapil Sibal (also former Union Law Minister) and Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi (also senior Member of Parliament and Congress leader) appearing for the petitioners and raised concerns about gambling addiction and degree of skill involved in the game of rummy.
Three months after the turmoil in the Nepalese gaming industry, the Nepal government has introduced major changes in the taxation structure in the budget for the year 2014-15. After Nepalese casinos were declared illegal following non-payment of royalties and other taxes by casinos, the Supreme Court passed an interim order in June 2014 directing the government not to shut down mini casinos in three and four star hotels.
In this interview, we present Gowree Gokhale, Partner and Intellectual Property, Technology, Media and Entertainment (TMT) head of Nishith Desai Associates (NDA), a leading Indian law firm with offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Munich, Singapore and Silicon Valley. Ms. Gokhale has over 17 years of legal experience and is well known in the technology, media & entertainment, gaming, telecom and pharma industries. In this feature, she presents her views on the many unresolved legal issues in the gaming industry as well as likely course of action that could be taken by the new government as far as regulation of online gaming is concerned.
In a bid to promote tourism and give a fillip to economic growth, Japan is in advanced stages of legalising casinos in the island state in a structured manner. News reports indicate that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have submitted a bill to legalise casinos in the country and would probably be passed by Diet, the Japanese Parliament in the next session of Parliament, by January 2015.
In a recent order dated 29th May 2014 in Saroj Subash Nagori v. Director of State Lotteries & Others [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 13331 of 2014], the Kerala High Court single bench headed by Justice AM Shaffique directed payment of winning amount to Saroj Subash Nagori (petitioner), a winner of lottery draw based in Mumbai overruling the respondents contentions that winning amount cannot be granted to residents outside Kerala.
So the eagerly awaited Lok Sabha results are finally out and it is clear that Narendra Modi will become the next Prime Minister of India. The conservative Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies will rule Delhi for the next five years (incidentally, the Indian betting industry correctly predicted a big Modi win). Like all other sectors, the gaming industry was also eagerly awaiting the results of the 2014 elections to gauge whether there would be any chance of regulation of betting and gaming in the coming five years. Virtually all industry experts in the last two FICCI conferences on sports betting/gaming also indicated that any decision on legalising sports betting or gambling will take place only after a new Central government settles down.
In a surprise move coming in the middle of election season, Income Tax officials raided casinos and other properties of two biggest gaming companies, Delta Corp and Pride Group reported Times of India. The raids were carried out by the IT department over allegations of money-laundering and tax evasion by the two companies.
The casino industry in South Asia suffered a major jolt as all ten Nepalese casinos were declared illegal and ordered to be shut down due to non-payment of royalties by the Nepalese Tourism Ministry. The Tourism Ministry has written to the Home Ministry and requested that casinos operating in Nepal be deemed illegal from Sunday, 20th April 2014.
After a long wait, Delta Corp has finally announced the commencement of operations of its flagship Deltin Resort in the Union territory of Daman. Announcing the launch of the resort, Jaydev Mody, Chairman of Delta Corp Ltd. in a company press release stated, “The opening of The Deltin is a milestone for us and underlines our efforts to provide luxurious yet accessible gaming and hospitality destinations in the country. I am confident that it will reshape the face of the industry in India.” The company in the press release further claimed that a 60,000 square feet casino in the resort would be the largest in India and the casino would commence operations once necessary licenses and five star accreditation for the resort are obtained.
- Punjab lottery operators go on strike over tax hike, impasse likely to end soon
- Supreme Court to decide fate of online and offline rummy operations very soon; analysing 5 important implications of the decision
- Nepal government grants concessions to casinos in bid to boost tourism
- Feature: Nishith Desai Associates Partner Gowree Gokhale discusses ongoing poker, rummy litigation and future of Indian gaming industry
- Japanese Prime Minister endorses move to legalise casinos in bid to promote tourism, boost economy
- avtar singh on Punjab lottery operators go on strike over tax hike, impasse likely to end soon
- George on New Bhutanese government to resume lottery business, raise issue of resumption of lotteries with Indian government
- PANKAJ KUMAR THAKUR on Rs. 7,000 crore illegal lottery scam exposed
- manu on Almost a year after initial plan, Badal Jr. renews vision to open casinos in Punjab
- baye lal on Gambling Laws in India: An Introduction