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Report No. 276

4. Prize Competitions Act, 1955

5.8 Prize Competitions in India are treated as a separate category from the general proscription on gambling. Accordingly they are governed by the Act, 1955. Section 2(d) of the Act defines the term "Prize Competition" as:

any competition (whether called a cross- word prize competition, a missing- word prize competition, a picture prize competition or by any other name) in which prizes are offered for the solution of any puzzle based upon the building up, arrangement, combination or permutation, of letters, words, or figures.

5.9 Section 4 of the Act provides that maximum prize that may be offered in a prize competition cannot exceed Rs.1,000, with the upper-limit of entries not exceeding 2,000 persons. Further, it lays down the condition that a licence must be obtained before offering a prize competition and provides for a detailed mechanism for grant and revocation of such licences. The Act also provides that any person violating these provisions shall be liable for penal consequences.

5.10 The Prize Competition Act, 1955 has, in fact, been enacted by the Parliament Of India in exercise of its powers under Article 252(1) on being authorised to legislate on prize competitions by the States of Andhra, Bombay, Madras, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad, Madhya Bharat, Patiala and East Punjab States Union, Saurashtra and all the erstwhile Part C States.

5.11 The P.C. Jain Committee, 2014 which was constituted by the Prime Minister's office to identify the Central Acts which are no longer relevant or needed or required, recommended that the Prize Competition Act, 1955 be repealed as most States have their own State Legislations to deal with 'Betting and Gambling'. Further, some of the States mentioned in section 1(2) of the Act no longer exist.

Legal Framework - Gambling and Sports betting including Cricket in India Back

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