Online gaming firms in India breathed a sigh of relief when the Karnataka High Court termed the Online gambling law as unconstitutional. Platforms like MPL, Dream 11, Ace2Three and others were banned from operating in the state since October 2021.
The Government of Karnataka imposed the Online Gambling Law on October 5, 2021 with immediate effect. This led the online gamling industry to shut down its operations in the state.
"We had halted services when the state had banned online gaming and when the announcement came of the ban lifting we resumed services. We are already seeing a sufficient amount of activity on the platform despite not announcing that we have resumed services in Karnataka. People have started directly accessing the app. Some percentage of users have started accessing and playing on the app," the co-founder and MD of PlayerzPot said after the ban was lifted as reported by moneycontrol.
He added that a good number of users from Karnataka have shown their interest in Cricket on his platform. Puneet Singh, the co-founder and CEO of Baazi games also added that Karnataka has always been a key market for the entire gambling industry and he would love to see the people of Karnataka engage in the game of skill.
“As far as our operations are concerned, we will be covering the entire state," he said as reported by money control.
However, the entire act is not struck down the judgement will not stand in the way of the legislature bringing in new law in consonance with the Constitution against gambling.
“The overall impact of the judgement for the sector is positive in the short term, as this formally allows entities involved in the business to continue to offer their services in Karnataka, earlier due to the amendments in The Karnataka Police Act such service providers were facing business disruption issues and regulatory hassles more so as many of them are based in the state,” said lawyer Salman Waris who is the head of TMT and and IP Practice groups at TechLegis as reported by business standard.
“This leaves room open for further regulatory intervention by the government and there appears to be long term regulatory uncertainty, there already a matter pending before the Supreme Court in relation to skill based online and fantasy gaming so till the SC gives the final decision there would continue to be some amount of regulatory uncertainty for the sector in the long term,” Waris added as reported by business standard.
According to a report by VC firm Sequoia and management consulting company BCG, India’s gambling sector will grow from $1.5 billion in 2020 to $5 billion by 2025.
With that being said, the gamers in Karnataka will now be able to participate in various fantasy sports tournaments and will also stand a chance to get some handsome returns.