Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents eight crore traders and over 40,000 trade associations, said that the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Bill, 2021, tabled in the legislative Assembly to ban online gaming, will hurt the Indian start-up sector, the Indian gaming and animation industry, and millions of Indian gamers and e-sports players.
The Bill proposing to ban online gambling will affect Indian start-ups like Dream11, Nazara, MPL, Games 24*7 and Paytm First Games. According to the data platform Tracxn, India has 623 gaming start-ups.
In a letter addressed to Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal 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, the proposal has not only gone against established jurisprudence but threatens the thriving Indian gaming start-up sector.”
CAIT said that this Bill will end up encouraging illegal offshore gambling and betting apps who operate in the grey market. Thousands of common Indians have lost their life savings to these illegal casino apps.
The trade body recommended a ‘strong and stable regulatory mechanism for online skill games’, and requested the Karnataka government to review the bill keeping in mind the interests of Indian companies and developers.