Karnataka government bans online “gambling”
The Karnataka state government has passed a bill amending the 1963 Karnataka Police Act. The decision aims to ban “games of chance” and has no impact on games which are “games of skill”.
According to the Chief Minister of the State, this measure aims to curb operators and accomplices who organize games of chance disguised as games of skill. However, since a clear definition to differentiate the two was not shared, it could have a negative impact on online gaming in India.
The decision further specifies that games of skill that may result in loss of money for players would fall under the jurisdiction of this now amended law.
This move, however, is likely to impact a lot of startups and gaming platforms like Dream11, My11Circle, MPL Pro, Bet365, Gamezy Nazara, Games 24 * 7, Paytm First Games and many other fantastic games. . These games are currently experiencing the peak in volume thanks to the second stage of the IPL which is underway in the Middle East.
Since the state government considers gambling to be just betting, which is illegal in India, the new bill makes such online gambling both identifiable and non-criminal offenses. bail. If found guilty, a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of Rs. 1 lakh.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court and various other high courts have already ruled in favor of fantastic games calling them a “game of skill”. However, the Kerala government had banned online rummy games under the Kerala Gaming Act.
Interestingly, even Google doesn’t allow listing of these apps on the Play Store. Therefore, most of these apps should be downloaded to Android phones directly from their websites. Despite this these games are thriving and Karnataka itself is a hub for these games / businesses with an investment of over Rs. 4000 crore and employs thousands of people.
Industry body opposes decision
The decision to ban online gambling has not gone very well with the Confederation of All Traders of India (CAIT) – the body that represents more than 8 million traders and 40,000 trade associations, because he spoke out firmly against the law. He says the move could impact millions of gamers as well as the entire Indian online gaming industry and the startups that operate them.
According to the records, India currently has 623 gaming startups and the fact that the new law does not differentiate between a game of skill and a game of chance can take a huge toll on these businesses.
The industry body also felt that the move could force users to use offshore betting apps that do not fall under Indian laws and may be detrimental to users.