Locals now barred from entering online gaming zones

Gangtok, 18 Jul:

The State Government has issued an official notificationprohibiting residents of the State from entering online gamingzones. This is the second such order by the Government, the first being the restriction on locals playing in casinos which was passed in July 2016.

The State Government has amended the Sikkim Online Gaming [Regulation] Amendment Rules 2009 with a view to restrict local people for entering online gaming zones especially casinos.

The amendment to the rules is in line with the assurance given byChief Minister PawanChamling on the floor of the Legislative Assemblyand public functions several times, stating that locals will not beencouraged to enter casinos or online gaming zones.

The State Government was attacked by opposition parties on the issue demanding stringent rules and restrictions on local people entering casinos and other online gaming zones.

Today, Directorate of Sikkim State Lotteries under Finance, Revenue &Expenditure Department notified that the existing rules of the Sikkim Online Gaming [Regulation] Amendment Rules 2009, Rule 13 is amendedunder caption ‘Prohibition of Entry’.

Rule 13, Sub-Rule [2] says thatin order to safeguard the interest of the local people, only personshaving a photo identity card, either voter identity card or AadhaarCard, or Passport issued from outside the State of Sikkim will bepermitted into the gaming zones.

The State Government has also prohibited persons below theage of 18 years and said that if licensee is in contravention of theSub-Rules (1) & (2) of Rule 13, it will result in suspension orcancellation of the license.

Apart from the operation of three casinos, the State Government haspermitted Sugal&Damani Group, Future Gaming Group and Essel Group’sPlaywin and Golden Gaming International Pvt Limited to operate legalonline sports betting in the State. The Union Home Ministry, in April 2014,permitted the Sikkim Government to regulate online betting activitiesas long as other States and Union Territories in the country were notaffected.