Opining that the Union of India need not be made a party in the matter, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the State government to come out with a decision on banning online gambling in Karnataka..“Does the State want to want to ban online gambling? It is a matter of policy, State will have to take a stand. You have not complied with March 31 order…” remarked a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka..Noting that no decision was taken on the issue, the Bench went on to direct,“State government must make its stand clear based on order dated March 31.”.In its March 31 order, the Court had asked the State to place its decision on online gambling before the Court by May 27. However, noting non-compliance, the Court proceeded to pass a similar direction today..Karnataka High Court seeks response from State government in PIL seeking ban on online gambling, betting .The Court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking ban on all forms of online gambling and betting till appropriate regulations are framed..The PIL filed by one D Sharada submitted that though there is a dire need for regulating online gambling and online games, the government has not created any regulatory regime for the same..The plea raises concern that gullible and hapless sections of the society, particularly the youth, are falling prey to online gambling and betting in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic..During the hearing, counsel appearing for the State government submitted that the Centre should be made a party in the matter..Refuting this, the counsel for the petitioner, Advocate Shridhar Prabhu, submitted that betting and gambling fall under Item 31, in List 2 of Schedule VII of the Constitution, ie, under the State List. This contention was accepted by the Court..Prabhu went on to submit,“The State appears to be scared of the Centre. In fact, there is a NITI AYOG report which shows that Centre generates some revenue owing to betting and gambling…”.As the hearing progressed, Senior Advocate Sajjan Poovayya, appearing for one of the applicants, submitted that the State should have a regulatory mechanism in place for ‘games of skill’..“How will games of skill be regulated? That is the only question the State has to answer”, said Poovayya. He added,“I am for regulation of online gambling but it must be within the contours of law.”.The Court was further apprised that the governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu had already taken a decision on regulating online gambling..The government sought 15 days to come up with a decision. The matter will be next heard on June 22.