- Dream11 suspends its operations in Karnataka.
- Gaming apps block access in Karnataka after state govt notifies law banning online betting games.
- Now, Dream11 joins the team of other gaming apps like Mobile Premier League who had stopped offering services to users in the state.
Fantasy sports platform Dream11 has suspended its operations in Karnataka days after an FIR was filed against its founders in Bengaluru. The complaint was filed after the company failed to comply with the Karnataka government’s new law- banning online gambling and betting.
Karnataka, home to some of the world’s biggest tech companies and India’s tech capital Bengaluru, is the fourth Indian state to seek to ban online games involving prize money after Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. The law imposes hefty fines and prison terms on violaters.
According to the new law, gambling is now a cognizable and non-bailable offense in the State. The Act bans all forms of wagering or betting in connection with any game of chance except horse racing and lottery. The amendment also prohibits risking money on the unknown result of an event including on a game of skill.
Dream11 said in a statement:
“Following the recent media coverage, our Karnataka users have expressed deep concerns and anxiety on their safety and security. In order to allay our users’ concerns, we have decided to suspend operations in Karnataka. This decision is without prejudice to our rights and contentions under law.”
Dream11 spokesperson said, that the company is examining its legal remedies, and added that “we are a responsible, law-abiding company and will extend our full cooperation to any authorities”.
Roland Landers, the chief executive of the All India Gaming Federation, said “the industry will challenge this in court and seek legal recourse”. The Kerala high court on September 27 lifted the Kerala government’s ban on Rummy calling it a game of mere skill but the Karnataka government has made no changes to its original bill.
MPL’s gaming app showed messages to users in Karnataka that said: “Sorry! The law in your state does not permit you to play Fantasy sports”, “Fantasy games are locked” and “cash games are locked”.
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