Karnataka’s online gaming bill could hurt jobs, says IAMAI

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Internet and Mobile Association of India (
IAMAI) on Monday said that the Karnataka Police Act (Amendment) Bill, tabled in the State Legislative Assembly, will not provide a conducive environment for the online skill gaming industry.
However, the bill introduced in the assembly appears to have been drafted without considering the various legal and constitutional positions by including a wide definition of ‘gaming’ in amendments against various Supreme Court and high court judgments, it said in a statement.

IAMAI said it is hopeful that the state government will continue to take a progressive stand and relook at the bill to bring it in line with the Supreme Court and various high court’s judgments and help create a vibrant, inclusive, globally competitive, and sustainable start-up ecosystem in Karnataka.

IAMAI is of the view that the bill may hurt Karnataka’s position as the country’s startup hub and lead to the loss of jobs and revenue for the state. There are 92 gaming companies registered in Bengaluru which employ over 4,000 people. In the past three years, international investors have invested around Rs 3,000 crore in gaming and animation startups in the state, it said in a statement.
The bill, tabled in the assembly last Friday by Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra, calls for a ban on all forms of online gambling and betting. It provides for a maximum imprisonment of three years or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh. However, it does not ban lotteries or betting on horse races.

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