How Karnataka's online gambling bill could impact skill-based gaming startups

#gaming startups, #IAMAI, #Karnataka Gambling Bill, #online gambling, #online gaming

Karnataka’s proposed amendment to ban online gambling could have major implications on Indian skill-based gaming startups, since it brings them under the ambit of the regulation by removing the distinction between game of skill and game of chance, according to industry experts.

Karnataka’s legislative assembly had tabled the bill on Friday to amend Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act, 2021 in the backdrop of a public interest litigation filed in Karnataka High Court to ban online gambling. It includes all forms of online gaming including game of skill and game of chance where transfer of money in digital or other electronic form is involved. The amendment however excludes offline lottery and horse racing.

Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), a self-regulatory industry body for fantasy sports, said the bill appears to be misguided since it penalises legitimate businesses by treating them at par with illegal online gambling, betting and wagering platforms. Such confusing signals could result in impeding the development of sports in the state.

“We request the Karnataka government to remove any ambiguity or uncertainty in the bill to ensure continuity and growth of the fantasy sports sector in the State. FIFS and its members strongly believe that certainty is integral to the rule of law and hence the bill needs to provide certainty and clarity to businesses, the investor community as well as consumers for the orderly growth and development of the industry” it said in a statement. The 35-member body counts Dream11 as its founding member with other members like MPL and My11Circle.

This development also comes at a crucial time for these players who are looking to cash in on the high interest from cricket fans during the ongoing Indian Premier League tournament and the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

Putting all categories of games within the same bucket is unjustified since the distinction between games of skill and games of chance is even recognized by the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court recently stuck down a similar law which was passed by Tamil Nadu government, said technology lawyer Jay Sayta.

Industry bodies like IAMAI and CAIT have also urged Karnataka government to relook its bill to ban online gambling, since it will affect Indian startups in the online skill gaming industry and may lead to loss of jobs in the state.

“A game of chance is pure gambling and should rightfully be banned. However, by including games of skill in the ambit of the bill, it has not only gone against established jurisprudence by the Honourable Supreme Court and Karnataka High Court but threatens the thriving Indian gaming startup sector” Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a letter to Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.

In the letter, Khandelwal said the bill will hurt the Indian startup sector, the Indian gaming and animation industry and millions of Indian gamers and esports players across the country.

“The bill to ostensibly ban online gambling or betting makes all online games of skill, which charge a small entry or registration fee, illegal. The bill only affects the Indian companies, which mostly charge a small registration fee to play their games, and will not affect other foreign games, where children spend thousands of rupees on in-app purchases. The bill will also prohibit Indian games like Chess, Carrom, Archery, Hockey and digital versions of traditional sports” he said.

Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said the bill appears to have been drafted without considering the various legal and constitutional positions by including a wide definition of ‘gaming’ in amendments against various Supreme Court and High Court judgments. It could also hurt Karnataka’s position as the country’s startup hub and lead to the loss of jobs and revenue for the state.

“IAMAI is hopeful that the state government will continue to take a progressive stand and relook at the bill to bring it in line with the Supreme Court and various High Court’s judgments and help create a vibrant, inclusive, globally competitive, and sustainable startup ecosystem in Karnataka” it said in a statement. “There are 92 gaming companies registered in Bengaluru which employ over 4,000 people. In the past three years, international investors have invested around Rs 3,000 crores in gaming and animation startups in the state.”

The industry body requested the state government to take a progressive view and ensure that legitimate online gaming companies that are protected under Article 19(1)(g) and Article 14 of the Constitution of India continue to operate in the state.

“Legislative actions such as this, may create a cloud of confusion and create regulatory uncertainty, which may unintentionally result in investors recalibrating their investments in the state and many existing companies may consider shifting base from the state” it said.

Gambling is a state subject in India due to which several states are taking different approaches to curb these activities. Andhra Pradesh has banned all forms of online gambling, while Kerala has banned games like online rummy. Tamil Nadu had introduced an ordinance banning online gambling in November last year, however it was struck down by Madras High Court last month.

“We are treading cautiously when it comes to gaming. Blanket banning is not a solution, one needs to have a distinction between games of skill and games of chance” Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary Industries & Commerce (I&C) Department & Information Technology, Electronics and Communications (ITE&C), Government of Telangana said at an industry event earlier this week.

“The pushbacks from law enforcement and other agencies are largely driven by games of chance. We cannot rule out that certain things can’t be manipulated, the need is to understand how we navigate the regulatory framework, we also need to dive deeper and find a middle path… We are taking certain steps in Telangana, but want to ensure that these are not challenged by courts or lead to public outcry,” he said.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Gati Shakti, digitisation, 'Make in India' discussed as Nirmala Sitharaman meets top CEOs in New York

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. The discussions that took place between Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the world’s leading business officers at the Big Apple in New York heavily emphasized on India’s ... Read more »

Congress slams 'catastrophic mishandling' of economy; says every aspect of democracy 'diminished'

19 Opposition parties including Congress will jointly launch a protest against the Centre (File image: PTI) The Congress hit out at the Centre over what it said was ”catastrophic mishandling” of the economy and also alleged ... Read more »

SIA sees moderate uptick in September passenger traffic on VTL tailwind

The group’s total passenger traffic rose by 4.4 per cent in September. SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) – The vaccinated travel lane (VTL) arrangement has helped lift demand for Singapore Airlines ... Read more »

"Democracy survived" Capitol riot because of police: Joe Biden

Joe Biden addressing UN General Assembly (Image: Twitter/@ANI) Framed by the Capitol, President Joe Biden paid tribute Saturday to fallen law enforcement officers and honored those who fought off the Jan. 6 ... Read more »

Investors in two-thirds of companies listed globally risk losing US$8.4 trillion because of declining ocean health: WWF

Investors in two-thirds of companies listed around the world were at the risk of losing US$8.4 trillion – or around a tenth of global gross domestic product (GDP) – due ... Read more »

Chinese realtor's $300-billion debt: Evergrande CEO in restructuring, asset sale talks

Evergrande Group’s chief executive is holding talks in Hong Kong with investment banks and creditors over a possible restructuring and asset sales, two people said, as the Chinese developer battles ... Read more »

It isn't just the UK that's suffering supply chain issues. In the US, the crisis may last until the summer

A trucker at the Port of Long Beach in California has said "sometimes drivers get mad" because they are waiting double the time they usually would for one load. Read more »

NCB raids 2 places in Palghar, seizes 505 gm mephedrone; 1 held

Representative image Over 500 grams of mephedrone were seized in two separate Narcotics Control Bureau operations in neighbouring Palghar district, leading to the arrest of one man, an official said ... Read more »

Amazon seeks to invest in SK Telecom's non-telecom operations

Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, collaborated with SK Telecom’s e-commerce platform 11Street to launch its Korean language shopping service dubbed the Amazon Global Store at the end of August. ... Read more »

Meeting with Putin to be crucial for gas contract, says Serbian President

Aleksandar Vucic said earlier that he planned to discuss the gas price for Serbia with Putin at a meeting on November 25 Read more »

Russia warns EU: natural gas shortage could become more frequent

Novak also echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s message that Russia is ready to supply Europe with more gas. But requests to supply more gas have not yet come in from ... Read more »

Nike CEO makes shocking confession: ‘I used to shoot a teenager'

A prominent executive of a sports brand has revealed in a controversial interview that he shot and killed a teenage boy in the 1960s. It concerns 72-year-old Larry Miller, CEO ... Read more »

Rosatom plans launch of four hydrogen production projects in 2024-2025

The Kaliningrad and Murmansk projects are planned to focus on European markets, whereas two projects to be implemented in Sakhalin will be mainly focused on Asian-Pacific countries Read more »

Cricket-BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly hopeful IPL 2022 will be held in India

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly (Image: Reuters) Indian cricket board president Sourav Ganguly expects next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) to be played in the country after the COVID-19 pandemic forced ... Read more »

Russia to set new domestic gas consumption record in 2021, says Novak

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gazprom Vitaly Markelov said earlier that the current gas consumption in Russia exceeds the levels of 2019 and 2020 Read more »

Home registrations in Kolkata jump over 2 times in July-September on stamp duty cut

Real Estate Registration of residential properties in Kolkata metropolitan area jumped more than twofold to 15,160 units during July-September period mainly driven by stamp duty reduction by the state government, ... Read more »

Elon Musk Shades Other High Earners: Wealth Above $230 Billion

Musk, who has long held the title of ‘richest person’, has built up a fortune of $236 billion, according to Bloomberg news agency. Especially the hard ride up of the ... Read more »

Gem, jewellery exports rise 29% to Rs 23,259 crore in September

Representative image Gems and jewellery exports rose by 29.67 per cent to Rs 23,259.55 crore in September 2021 compared to Rs 17,936.86 crore in the year-ago month, according to the ... Read more »

MEA S Jaishankar on Israel visit from October 17-21, will hold talks to strengthen strategic ties

(File image: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay an official visit to Israel beginning Sunday during which he will hold talks with his Israeli ... Read more »

Fed Worried About Inflation Risk as It Firmed Up Tapering Plan Central bank prepares to begin reducing asset purchases next month and eyes end to stimulus program by mid-2022

The Labor Department said consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in September from August. (Photo: AFP) Federal Reserve officials last month worried that disrupted supply chains were raising the risks ... Read more »

Italy unveils G20 Innovation League to promote startups for sustainable future

The current Italian Presidency of the G20 has unveiled G20 Innovation League, a new and unique initiative designed to drive forward innovative projects that help create a sustainable future. The ... Read more »

Centralcon's Sha Tin housing project launch gets off to a slow start as buyers hold out for better options amid robust supply

A weekend property sale got off to a slow start in Hong Kong, as homebuyers balked at flats offered by lesser known developers in a market where thousands of new ... Read more »

Avenue Supermarts Ltd. Q2 Result | Profit rises 110% YOY to Rs 418 crore, revenue grows 46.6% YOY to Rs 7,789 crore

Avenue Supermarts Ltd, which operates DMart chain of retail stores, has reported consolidated profit after tax of Rs 418 crore for the quarter ended September 2021, an increase of 110% ... Read more »

Ukraine's wish to pay 20-30% higher for Russian gas surprises Moscow, says Novak

Ukraine’s wish to continue buying Russian gas through reverse-flow supplies, Russia Deputy Prime Minister said Read more »

Hut Group founder Moulding to give up golden share in bid to restore City confidence

Sky News has learnt that the owner of The Hut Group, which floated just over a year ago, will announce next week that it plans to move its listing to the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange in 2022. Read more »

HDFC Bank Q2 Result | Profit grows to Rs 8,834 crore, net interest income rises to Rs 17,684 crore

Representative image HDFC Bank, the largest private sector lender in India, has reported standalone profit at Rs 8,834.31 crore for September 2021 quarter, 17.6% percent higher compared to Rs 7,513.11 crore in ... Read more »

Novak does not rule out recurrence of energy crisis in Europe, urges its prevention

The gas shortage in Europe’s underground gas storage facilities currently stands at around 25 bln cubic meters, Russia Deputy Prime Minister said Read more »

Amid rising fuel prices, cars with lower running costs likely to gain higher traction among buyers: Report

With fuel prices going up by 35 percent over the past 15 months thereby impacting overall vehicle running costs, cars that have higher fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs are ... Read more »

First-hand golden tips give InvestorsFair shine

Martine Hafkamp, ​​asset manager at Fintessa, kicked off with her stock market favorites for the new year. Among other things, she sees bread in ASML that will open the books ... Read more »

Hong Kong court slaps jail time on four people over plot to defraud Convoy, in a win for city's anti-corruption investigator

Three former executives of Convoy Financial Service Holdings and a local broker were sentenced to up to seven months in prison, as Hong Kong wrapped up its four-year investigation into ... Read more »

Avenue Supermarts Q2 Result | Profit rises 110% to Rs 418 crore, revenue grows 47% to Rs 7,789 crore

Avenue Supermarts, which operates DMart chain of retail stores, has reported consolidated profit after tax of Rs 417.76 crore for the quarter ended September 2021, increasing by 110.4 percent from Rs 198.55 crore in ... Read more »

Karnataka govt to decide on easing COVID curbs after consulting experts

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (File image) The Karnataka government on Saturday said it will take a call on further relaxing the COVID-19 related restrictions after consulting the experts soon, ... Read more »

Supply chain woes hit school cafeterias, leaving administrators scrambling to make meals

The supply chain shortages hitting the entire country are leaving school cafeterias short of items from utensils to syrup packets. Read more »

IMF hails India's 'swift and substantial' response to COVID-19 crisis

A healthcare worker collects a swab for a rapid antigen test from a farmer in his field, during a door-to-door vaccination drive amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Banaskantha district ... Read more »

Over 101 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses provided to states, UTs: Centre

Unvaccinated Delhi government employees will not be allowed to attend office from October 16, according to a DDMA order on Friday. (Representational Image.) More than 101 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses ... Read more »

MVA is most corrupt govt in Maharashtra's history, extortion its only agenda: Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis Senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday hit out at the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray saying the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government was the most corrupt in the history of the state ... Read more »

The stagflation challenge What really matters to the markets is policy responses.

A man wearing a face mask walks past a student begging in Siam Square in January 2021 during the pandemic. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb) After a decade of low inflation, which prompted ... Read more »

Russia discusses issue of Doing Business rating at IMF, WB session, says Deputy PM

This rating had been released for almost 20 years, and the bank decided to stop the release of this rating not long ago, Alexei Overchuk noted Read more »

Nirmala Sitharaman discusses post-pandemic economic recovery, other issues with World Bank chief

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman discussed the post-pandemic economic recovery, India’s major role in the global fight against COVID-19, and preparations for the upcoming Climate Change Conference among other ... Read more »

China's education crackdown sparks lawsuits against defunct institutions, while some tutors keep teaching in secret

Many private English teachers who remain in China are keeping a low profile amid China’s ongoing crackdown on off-campus education, and a number of private institutions remain stuck in an ... Read more »