The Public Gambling Act,1867

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The Public Gambling Act has been incorporated on 25th January 1867. This Act has been enacted to confer punishment for public gambling as it is expedient to do so and holding gaming-house in United provinces, East Punjab, Delhi and the Central Provinces.

Gambling in India has been strictly prohibited. This Act is a Central Law that restricts conducting or owning a gaming-house to activate gambling. This Act shall be extended to all States that are mentioned. In case if necessary the State Government stands competent to notify in three successive number of Official Gazette.

These notifications shall be made in all or any of the Cities, towns and other social places in the State within three miles from any part of such game station house within the States. These notifications are for keeping the limits in gambling through alterations in the notifications as and when necessary through this Act. In case if such extension for application of certain laws in any or whole States inconsistent to any law in force, shall cease to exist as being repugnant to the provisions applicable to them.

In pursuance to this Act any person who owns or possess any land, house, or any sort of walled enclosure or any such place, etc, with an illegal intention for conducting or in any way in support of these illegal activities knowingly or unknowingly shall be punished. This Act also penalizes the person who in anyway directly or indirectly assist for this illegal gambling activities knowingly or unknowingly funding or stimulating and assisting such activities. These people with ill intention shall be punished with imprisonment with or without fine as it may deems fit by this Act. No games shall be included which is played only with meager skills without any ill intention to gamble.

In pursuance to this Act any person who were found in the gaming place playing or earning with cards, dice, money or any other gaming instruments with an illegal intention to make money or perquisite or any such advantage, etc, through this illegal gambling activities shall be punished with imprisonment with or without fine as it deems fit. Even if any person make his presence or remains in that place where illegal gambling activities taking place shall be presumed to be an accused unless it is properly proved showing his innocence.

This Act provides powers to such competent Authorities to enquire and if necessary to enter into such places for clear cut investigations, either by himself or through warranting or delegating such other authorities to investigate by entering into such gaming place for taking into custody of such illegal person who are involved in such illegal gambling activities and to seize the instruments they used for it including money. They are given full rights to investigate by entering, searching, seizing and taking custody of such persons involved.

In case if any of the gambling instruments or any materials of such nature found during search in a place where in it was doubted for gambling activities will itself presumed to be the place where such illegal gambling activities were conducted and performed with illegal motive. In case if any person found in such a place and brought before the Magistrate and provide duplicate name and address shall be punished with imprisonment with or without fine as it may deems fit.

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The Magistrate while passing an Order in pursuance to these gambling activities shall declare to destroy all the gambling instruments and ask to sell all the securities for money and other materials to convert into money and such money were ordered to get forfeited and some part of the proceeds may be allotted to the persons who are entitled.

The Magistrate has the power to examine at any time of any person who is under the purview of doing such illegal gambling activities or in any way involved for the same with illegal intention. Nobody shall question for such examination and to provide such evidence to prove his innocence. Such doubted person shall be bound to answer the Magistrate and provide necessary evidence. Any person refuses to take oath or refuses to answer or provide evidence shall be punished under Indian Penal Code, 1960.

In case of any person who indemnifies as witness in whose trial for illegal gambling activities conducted in a Court, upon giving true and faithful discovery on examination shall provide such Certificate in writing from Magistrate and such person shall be freed from all legal proceedings against him.

In case if any person found gaming and betting with birds and animals shall be apprehended and produced immediately before the Magistrate and punished with imprisonment with or without fine as it deems fit.

The Magistrate shall entertain such matter within whose Jurisdiction such illegal gambling takes place as mentioned in Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. In case of any subsequent offenders, he shall be punished with imprisonment with or without fine. A portion of such fine imposed shall be paid to the informers who gives genuine information about this illegal activities. All such recovery shall be made with the help of Cr.P.C. This Act has been repealed by the Repealing Act 1874.

This Act is an ab-initio for such illegal gambling activities. As the year passed on, Gambling business developed as that of virus. Even today several such activities followed everywhere in big volume wherein several big shots were involved. Online Gambling have taken its boom, even after Information Technology Acts, Cyber Laws in force. So, this Act is just an initiative.

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C.Srivenkatesh Prabhu.