Mobile Premier League, Other Online Gaming Apps Block Access in Karnataka as Ban Takes Effect
Following an online gaming prohibition in the Indian state of Karnataka. The Sequoia Capital-backed Mobile Premier League (MPL) was among the first few gaming businesses to begin restricting access to customers on Wednesday.
The rule prohibits online games including betting and wagering, as well as “any act of risking money. And on the uncertain outcome of an event, including on a game of skill,” which went into effect late Tuesday.
The latest prohibition has heightened fears that rising state rules could stifle India’s young but burgeoning gaming industry. Whereas international investors have poured millions of dollars into the gaming industry in the country in recent months.
MPL’s gaming app sent out messages to Karnataka users on Wednesday morning, saying: “Sorry for the inconvenience! Your state’s laws prohibit you from participating in Fantasy sports.”
Fantasy cricket and football games are available on the casino app, with real-money wagering available.
Paytm First Games was still active. However, Dream11, one of India’s most popular gaming apps supported by Tiger Global, was not.
Mobile Premier League and Paytm did not answer right away, while Dream11 declined to comment.
After Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, home to some of the world’s largest internet businesses and India’s tech capital Bengaluru, is the latest Indian state to outlaw such online games. Tamil Nadu had enacted similar legislation, but the bill was overturned by the state’s high court.
These states are essential for the gaming business, according to an industry source who told Reuters earlier that they account for around 20% of total sales for businesses.
“The industry will challenge this in court and seek legal action,” said Roland Landers, chief executive of the All India Gaming Federation.