Karnataka Government passes controversial Bill to ban Online Gaming
A brief breakdown on how Karnataka has gone about the new regulations with certain reasonable restrictions and specifications
Karnataka has become the latest state to ban certain modes of online gaming in a recent move by the government. The Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill 2021 has come into effect to ban forms of 'wagering, betting, and other modes of recognised monetary transactions/funds involving gaming. The Bill extends to banning the usage of apps and computers to undertake transactions directed towards online gaming.
While there is not much clarity on the matters as yet, Karnataka may possibly become the 7th state to ban fantasy sport apps such as Dream 11 etc. from operating. The confusion lies in how the government and courts will interpret fantasy sport apps such as Dream 11 that have previously been termed as 'Games of Skill' by other courts such as the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
There has been a lot of controversy created already as several industry heads and professionals have commented on the issues that this will cause. The major confusion seems to be between the lack of differentiation in the Bill between the 'Game of Skill' and 'Game of Chance'. This debate has been the focal point of all esports and online gaming for several years now in India and this spark has been lit once again with the passing of the bill.
The punishment mandated for violation of the law has also been given-
1st Offence- 6 months in prison and Rs.10,000 fine.
2nd Offence- 1 year in prison and Rs. 15,000 fine.
3rd offence-18 months in prison and Rs.20,000 fine.