Skill-based online money gaming sector upset with the recent ban on gambling

Published on October 12, 2021 by

Bengaluru: After the new Karnataka Police (amendment) bill passed in the Karnataka assembly, the online gaming industry has been questioning the bill as it bans ‘all online games that involve money’, specially gambling and betting. Skill based gaming companies argue that they are different from gambling and plan to challenge the bill.

Siddhant Saurbh, founder of Zupee, a quizzing game, said. “We started the company in 2018 and we make real money games, quizzing is one of the real money games we make, in that you can put money to participate then depending on how well you play, you get a chance to win more money, than your competitor. Answering a question is a completely skill based event, as you cannot know an answer by luck which makes us very different from betting”

“We have been banned in Karnataka which means that we create games that come under the category of gambling, which is not true.”, he added.

The companies that create games that are played with logic and skill consider themselves to be different from gambling.

Sandeep Chilean, lawyer, who claimed that the drafting of the bill was vague and said that, “The government in order to ban betting and gambling has not carved out the exclusion of participation of players in the games of skill which otherwise has been held by supreme court as not betting. Just like how Tamil Nadu High court challenged the bill, Karnataka will also be challenged”. Courts in the past raised concerns on such drafting. In the recent judgement of Junglee Games v. State of Tamil Nadu, where Part II of the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act of 2021 had put a blanket ban on online gaming, the Madras High Court had pointed out how it was not an intelligible legislation and expert committees should be put in place for the distinguishing of skill and chance, highlighting the fact that when the outcome of an event is in control such an event is not betting or gambling.

Kanwar Singh, a player of online money games said, “I love to create teams on Dream 11 in my free time, it is purely based on skills and not betting as it helps you set your own team and play with your required points scored and earning money on it is just a motivation”

There are around 200-300 Bengaluru based gaming companies and the online gaming money sector is growing rapidly. According to Siddhant, Karnataka amounted to around 20% of the total users of his gaming company and hence it would be a big loss if the company’s operations are stopped in the state and therefore the skill based money gaming companies prepare themselves to enter into a legal battle with the court.

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