Reconsider e-gaming ban: Ficci urges Karnataka govt


Team Udayavani, Oct 6, 2021, 9:26 AM IST

Bengaluru: A month after the Karnataka legislative assembly passed the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 1963 that sought to prohibit gambling in the state, including online gambling, with maximum imprisonment of three years and a penalty up to Rs 1 lakh. Industry body Ficci on Tuesday urged the Karnataka government to take a relook at the legislation

Ficci stated that a prohibition on games of skill is unconstitutional and would lead to a massive loss of revenue.

The Karnataka legislative assembly last month passed the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 1963. The bill sought to prohibit gambling in the state, including online gambling, with maximum imprisonment of three years and penalty up to Rs 1 lakh.

“We believe that a prohibition on games of skill apart from being unconstitutional will also lead to massive loss of revenue and jobs and opportunities for users to develop their skills,” the chamber said in a statement.

It added that if the bill bans online skill games, the law-abiding Indian companies will exit the market, and users will turn to harmful offshore and betting apps.

There are other big offshore and Indian gambling players which are currently offering their services in Karnataka despite being illegal, it claimed.

Some of them are advertising heavily, and the users have no way of discerning between legitimate and non-legitimate operators as all self-regulated / certified players would not be operating, it added.

“We hope that the government will relook at the bill to conform to the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence and issue a final notification after examining suggestions and objections from stakeholders, opinions,” the chamber said.

It further said the move by the Karnataka government is a setback to the state’s reputation of being a tech-hub and startup capital.

(With inputs from PTI)

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