New Delhi, Oct 6 | The Karnataka government’s notification banning all skill games that involve entry fees, has left the industry confused and disappointed as it has come within few days of the state home minister saying that the state will implement the rules in about two months.
Earlier, the Home Minister of Karnataka had said that the government will notify the rules under the amended laws first and then issue a final notification after examining suggestions and objections from stakeholders. He further said that the government hopes to implement the rules in about two months.
However, in an about turn, the Karnataka government issued a notification on October 5 immediately banning all skill gaming apps that involve entry fees.
Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF said, “The industry is quite disappointed at this obvious setback to skill gaming in Karnataka, a State that has always stood for innovation and ease of business.
“What is especially disappointing is that the industry did see hope when the State Home Minister had given an encouraging statement on the formulation of a new e gaming law that we were eagerly looking forward to. This ban has come into effect and it will result in setbacks for the burgeoning sunrise gaming industry as a whole including game developers and publishers.”
The controversial Bill had sparked off huge protests from several quarters. Prominent industry bodies like All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) had opposed the ban.
IAMAI, the industry body representing Internet and tech companies, had said the Bill will hurt Karnataka’s position as the country’s startup hub and will lead to loss of jobs and revenue for the state. They also added that the Bill will create a cloud of confusion and uncertainty. Investors may pull out their investments, as of which many existing companies may consider shifting base from the state.
Praveen Khandelwal, the National Secretary General of the powerful trade bodym, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), said, “Unfortunately, the Karnataka Bill does not distinguish between a game of skill and a game of chance. Game of chance is pure gambling and should be rightfully banned. However, by including games of skill in the ambit of the Bill, it has not only gone against established jurisprudence but threatens the thriving Indian gaming startup sector.”