Online gaming

Online gaming: industry bodies seek clarification on online gaming

Computer industry associations Nasscom and IndiaTech.org urged Karnataka to clarify several clauses of its recently notified Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act 2021, which bans internet gaming and mobile apps and tightens penalties for online games.

In its recommendation, Nasscom said the ban would hurt the growth of gaming companies in Karnataka and impact the state’s reputation as a hub for innovation and startups.

Nasscom said the amendment to section 78 (1) (a) (vi) and (vii) of the law includes games of skill as part of betting, which has created uncertainty in the gambling industry. play such as games such as online crossword, chess or Sudoku – for which a registration fee is paid and depends on the skill of the players – can be considered a bet.

“In its current form, the law has erased the distinction between ‘game of skill’ and ‘game of chance’. A ‘game of skill’ does not completely omit the element of chance. , and the address of a player. It has been established by law that competitions involving “substantial skill” form a separate category from “gambling” and are classified as protected business activities under Article 19 (1) (g) “Nasscom mentioned .

IndiaTech.org, an industry body representing the founders of Indian startups and investors, has asked the state government to publish the necessary clarifications and exceptions on the enforceability of certain provisions, either through new rules or guidelines.

“While the government’s primary intent was on online gambling and betting, it is equally essential that the government begin to engage with the industry to eliminate confusion around certain clauses that may be misinterpreted as ‘applying to all legitimate online gaming companies,’ said Rameesh Kailasam, Managing Director of IndiaTech.Org.

It is important that the state government sends the right signal to investors and startup founders that until such rules are put in place, no action will be taken against anyone, he said. declared. “Many in the online gambling industry – of which Karnataka has been the hub – are weighing their way forward as to whether they would be able to continue their operations or invest in the state for this emerging sector by. The government needs to reassure the legitimate competency-based online gaming startups in this regard, many of whose business models have already stood the test of several courts in India, ”Kailasam added.

Nasscom said the online gaming industry is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 21% in fiscal years 2021 to 2025 and will reach a size of 29,000 crore.


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