Individual States Can Prohibit Online Lotteries

indian-flagThe Supreme Court in India has ruled that each state can make its own decision to ban online lotteries that are based in other states in India.

The decision was made after the All Kerala Online Lottery Dealers Association, along with Sikkim, Nagaland, and Meghalaya, had disagreed with Kerala’s stance on the issue, which was then taken to court.

Sikkim has somewhat liberal gambling rules, and has received a lot of revenue from Kerala residents. The court expressed concern that lottery tickets bought at lottery terminals in Kerala were not fully under Sikkim’s control, which left the system open for abuse, since players would be unable to ascertain whether the lottery tickets are genuine or not.

In addition to this, Kerala’s Lotteries Act 1998 allowed weekly lottery drawings. The online lotteries offered a number of draws each minute, which does not give ticket purchases the chance for a cool down period before making the decision to purchase yet another lottery ticket.

Justice Agarwal noted in the verdict: “If online or Internet lottery is to be prohibited by a State then that online lottery or Internet lottery of all States, including that State, also has to be prohibited. Viewed from this angle, we are of the considered opinion that State of Kerala was well within its rights to prohibit the sale of online or Internet lotteries in its State and there is no fault in it.”

The Justice further noted: “Experience has shown that the common forms of gambling are comparatively innocuous when placed in contrast with widespread pestilence of lotteries. The former are confined to a few persons and places, but the latter infests the whole community; it enters every dwelling; it reaches every class; it preys upon the hard earnings of the poor; it plunders the ignorant and the simple.”