Businesses Can Take Legal Action Against Government Ban on Online Gambling | Latest India News
While the Indian Premier League (IPL) is still ongoing, gaming companies were caught off guard when the government of Karnataka on Tuesday announced a ban on online gambling and gaming. A number of online gaming companies depend on IPL as it generates a significant portion of the revenue. Companies are now seeking legal recourse to challenge the ban.
A person representing a major online gaming platform said the pace of notification of the law was a âshockâ to the industry and would cause a âbig bumpâ for businesses in the state.
âThe current bill that Karnataka has passed banning online gaming is a blow to India’s fastest growing entertainment industry. Investments, jobs, income and therefore taxes will all be severely affected. The industry has sought clarification on several precedents that establish the legitimacy of “skill games” and the state should heed these judgments by issuing an enabling gambling policy that will facilitate growth and opportunities for this sector “, Biren Ghose, the chairman of the CII National Committee on AVGC and chairman of the Bangalore Animation Industry Association (ABAI) said Wednesday.
He added that the industry body was a partner of the state government to protect the interests of gamers, operators and game developers.
“We call on the state government to develop a set of rules in consultation with the industry to ensure that legitimate skill games do not fall under such a ban,” he said. added.
According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IMAI), there are 92 gaming companies registered in Bengaluru which employ over 4,000 people and have, in the last three years alone, attracted ??3,000 crores of investment.
âAs an umbrella industry body, we have notified our member companies to block Karnataka in accordance with the law. However, we would like to reiterate our position because legitimate online skill gaming companies that have the right to trade have been the most affected, âsaid Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF on Wednesday.
Landers further said the gambling ban would help illegal offshore gambling operators.
âNeedless to say, the industry will challenge this in court and seek legal recourse. We have to remember that the Madras HC recently called off a similar act that attempted to shut down online skill games in the state, âhe added.
A lawyer, an expert in technology law, said the law caught companies off guard because courts would not work until Oct. 18 due to Dasara’s vacation and it would take much longer to get a stay of the law.
However, the government of Karnataka does not appear to be disheartened by the impact on the industry or the threat of legal recourse to challenge the disputed law.
âThere is no room for ambiguity in the law. We have not banned any skill game. We hope that our position will come under the scrutiny of the court, âAraga Jnanendra, Minister of the Interior of Karnataka, said Wednesday in a statement to the Hindustan Times.
The statements come a day after the government of Karnataka notified the amendments to the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which, among other changes, banned “any act or risking money, or otherwise on the unknown outcome of an event, including on a game of skill â, which added to the apprehensions because he proposed to include the skill in what was previously only on a game of chance.
The online gaming industry, which gained ground during the lockdown induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, is expected to grow from 360 million players to 510 million by 2022, according to a 2021 report from the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and EY.
The report adds that 85% of them are mobile gamers. He also estimates that real money online gamblers are expected to increase from 80 million in 2020 to 150 million by 2023.
Estimates indicate that Karnataka, known for its technological prowess, accounts for around 15% of the country’s market.