Gaming apps block entry in India’s Silicon Valley state as ban takes impact

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BENGALURU, Oct 6 (Reuters) – Sequoia Capital-funded Mobile Premier League (MPL) was among the many first few gaming startups that started blocking entry to customers within the Indian state of Karnataka on Wednesday following a ban on on-line gaming.

The legislation, which got here into impact late on Tuesday, bans on-line video games involving betting and wagering, and “any act or risking money, or otherwise on the unknown result of an event including on a game of skill”.

The newest ban has intensified issues that rising state laws might hit the nascent however booming gaming sector in India, the place international traders have pumped in tens of millions of {dollars} in latest months.

On Wednesday morning, MPL’s gaming app confirmed messages to customers in Karnataka that mentioned: “Sorry! The law in your state does not permit you to play Fantasy sports”, “Fantasy games are locked” and “cash games are locked”.

The gaming app gives fantasy cricket and soccer video games and permits real-money wagering on them.

Dream11, one in all India’s hottest gaming apps backed by Tiger Global, was nonetheless operational, however Paytm First Games was not.

Dream11 declined to remark, whereas MPL and Paytm didn’t instantly reply.

Karnataka, dwelling to among the world’s largest tech firms and India’s tech capital Bengaluru, is the newest Indian state that has banned such on-line video games after Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu had additionally imposed such bans, however its invoice was struck down by its excessive court docket.

An trade supply had instructed Reuters earlier that these states have been essential for the gaming enterprise and account for roughly 20% of the full enterprise for firms.

Roland Landers, the chief government of the All India Gaming Federation, mentioned “the industry will challenge this in court and seek legal recourse”.

Two different trade sources instructed Reuters on Wednesday that players and a few firms have been planning to file court docket challenges towards the brand new Karnataka legislation.

The legislation imposes hefty fines and jail phrases on violaters and has been applied amid rising issues that on-line gaming platforms, like playing, are addictive and might trigger monetary hurt. learn extra

Reporting by Chandini Monappa and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

Commuters watch videos on their mobile phones as they travel in a suburban train in Mumbai, India, April 2, 2016.  Picture taken April 2, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo/File Photo