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Telangana legislature passes bill outlawing games of skill for stakes

In India, the Telangana Legislature has approved the Telangana Gaming Amendment Bill 2017, which makes permanent two earlier ordinances outlawing games of skill for stakes.

The bill was introduced by state Home Minister Naini Narshimha Reddy, and makes all games (including skill games) that involve wagering with money “cognizable and non-bailable offences.”

The bill is a setback to Indian online operators who petitioned for games like poker and rummy to be declared lawful.

The same session also passed amendments to the rather long-winded Telangana Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Dacoits, Drug Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Land-Grabbers Act, 1986, which contains a provision allowing the detention without trial or bail for up to a year of offenders of the Telangana Gaming Act on an order signed by the Commissioner of Police or a District Magistrate.

The amended gaming bill now moves to the legislative council for approval and then to the governor's office for his imprimatur.

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