Monthly Archives: March 2014

Online Gaming Industry And Laws In India

Online Gaming Industry And Laws In IndiaThe fine line and distinction between online gambling and online gaming in India is not appreciated and understood by online gambling and gaming enthusiastics of India. As a result they are frequently prosecuted in India for violating online gaming and online gambling laws of India. Even technical mechanisms are also used to curb such activities in restricted territories or zones. For instance, the Andhra Pradesh CID has requested the Cert-In to block Playwin/s website in AP on the ground of prohibition of online gambling in AP. In the past, Kerala refused permission to Future Gaming Solutions India Private Ltd to sell Nagaland lotteries in the state.

We have very specific and unique online poker laws and regulations in India. Whether by design or ignorance, online poker websites in India are violating these laws of India. Many online poker players in India also play the same in active violation of the laws of India in this regard. Most of them are not even aware whether playing online poker in India is legal or illegal. Further, taxability of online poker websites of India is another crucial issue that is frequently ignored by poker entrepreneurs. The laws and regulations for online gambling and online gaming in India must be religiously followed by all the stakeholders in their own interest.

Both online gaming and online gambling market of India is fast booming and maturing. Entrepreneurs in these fields have started exploring Indian markets to establish their ventures in India. Some of them have even established their businesses in neighbour countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka so that the moment Indian market is liberalised they can easily establish their venture in India. Amazon is also targeting home entertainment segment as it bought Videogame Studio Double Helix Games.

Mobile games have also become popular world over, including India. The market size for online games and mobile games is tremendous. There are very few players as on date in the mobile gaming industry of India. However, these players have to resolve many techno legal issues before they can establish their businesses in India. These include mobile payment compliances, payment gateway and POS terminal service due diligence, websites development compliances, Internet intermediary obligations, cyber law due diligence (PDF), etc. Presently many mobile application developers are violating Indian laws and may be prosecuted in the near future.

Perry4Law strongly recommends that online and mobile gaming entrepreneurs and businesses in India must ensure techno legal compliances before launching their respective ventures in India. Avoiding these techno legal compliances would prove counter productive in the long run.

Andhra Pradesh CID Requests Cert-In To Block Playwin’s Online Lotteries Website In AP

Andhra Pradesh CID Requests Cert-In To Block Playwin’s Online Lotteries Website In APOnline gambling and gaming is a very lucrative field and it is attracting the attention and interest of both national and international players. However, we have no dedicated online gambling laws in India and the legal jurisprudence in this regard is still evolving. Both the Indian government and law enforcement agencies of India are trying to tackle technology related crimes and offences in India but without much success.

Recently, the Tamil website Savukku was ordered to be blocked by Madras High Court. However, immediately after the order, the website was openly available by using proxy URLs. As per media reports, the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh police had sought a ban on the website of “Playwin” which has allegedly been selling online lotteries banned in the state.

While many believe that it would be an easy ride for Playwin in this regard yet this is not as simple as it is appearing. As the matter involved information technology and the website has an online presence, the issues of internet intermediary liability and cyber law due diligence (PDF) would also arise. These issues would not be easy to be countered by Playwin. Recently the 99Acres.com and olx.com/olx.in found themselves in a fix for possible violation of cyber law due diligence and Internet intermediary liability of India. Playwin cannot take this issue lightly in the near future.

Almost all of the online poker websites in India are violating one or other laws of India. Although online gaming market in India is booming yet regulatory compliances cannot be ignored. It seems online gaming and online gambling industry of India is not considering regulations while conducting their businesses in India.

In the present case, CID Additional Director General of Police T Krishna Prasad said that Sikkim government and its marketing agent (Essel Group Lottery Company) organise online lotteries in the lottery free zone states including Andhra Pradesh and the Essel Group Lottery Company sells online lotteries through their website. Accordingly, a letter has been addressed to the Director, Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) at New Delhi, with a request to block the operations of the website in Andhra Pradesh, which is a lottery free state, the CID chief said in the statement. The public has been cautioned not to get involved in such lotteries since it is a banned activity in Andhra Pradesh, he said.

The provisional and regular licence under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008 can be granted but they are not enforceable around the India. These licences have their own territorial and other legal limitations. The state of Andhra Pradesh is agitating one such transgression upon its territorial and legal rights. Let us see what legal explanations would be provided by Playwin to escape from the blocking threat.

Online Poker Laws In India Are Flouted By Poker Websites

Online Poker Laws In India Are Flouted By Poker WebsitesPerry4Law is frequently asked questions like is it legal to play online poker in India? We are also frequently approached regarding the legality of opening an online poker website in India. There is no straight forward answer to this complex question. The truth is that opening of an online poker website and playing online poker in India may be both legal and illegal depending upon the facts and circumstances of each case.

There are no dedicated online poker laws and regulations in India. However, online poker activities are governed by multiple laws of India and all of them need to be duly complied with to run a legal online poker activity. Most of the online poker websites in India are violating Indian laws and may be prosecuted as well in the near future. This is partly due to lack of awareness and partially due to indifference of Indian government to bring suitable policy reforms in this field.

The laws and regulations for online gambling and online gaming in India are scattered under different statutes. Similarly, the laws pertaining to online poker are also scattered under different legislations.

We believe that opening of a legally sustainable and legal online poker website in India is a continuous process. One cannot simply start a website and offer online poker games in India. The ultimate test of legality of an online poker website in India is whether it is complying with different applicable laws of India. This, unfortunately, is not happening presently and like Bitcoins the online poker websites may found themselves on the wrong side of law very soon.

Laws And Regulations For Online Gambling And Online Gaming In India

Laws And Regulations For Online Gambling And Online Gaming In IndiaMany of the Perry4Law’s clients had asked whether online gambling is legal in India or not? There is also a general confusion regarding online gaming and online gambling regulatory requirements in India. Online gambling laws in India are totally different from online gaming laws of India. Further, online betting laws in India are also differently applicable to different situations. India is also contemplating formulating anti match fixing laws to prevent illegal online betting and match fixing in various games.

Similarly, lottery laws in India are different and they apply differently in different states of India. One state may refuse to allow sale of lotteries of a different state in its jurisdiction. Recently, Kerala refused permission to Future Gaming Solutions India Private Ltd to sell Nagaland lotteries in the state. The state of Sikkim grants provisional and regular licence under the Sikkim Online Gaming (Regulation) Act, 2008.

Since online gambling essentially involves use of information and communication technology (ICT), conflict if laws are bound to arise. An online gambling or online poker website may be legal in one country but it may be illegal in another country like India. Any entrepreneur who wishes to explore multiple markets around the world must keep in mind the conflict of laws aspect of online gaming industry.

The online poker laws in India have also evoked much interest from both national and international stakeholders and entrepreneurs. Few of them have even considered using Bitcoins for online gambling and online gaming purposes. However, it is of utmost importance that an online poker website in India must be legally opened and managed in a lawful manner from time to time. There are very specific legal requirements regarding opening a legal online poker website in India.

The online gaming market of India is fast booming but regulatory compliances are still to be adhered to. For instance, compliances in the field of encryption, cloud computing, cyber law due diligence (PDF), Internet intermediary obligations, payment gateways, mobile applications development, online gaming websites development, etc are still not taken care of by various online gaming and online gambling websites and entrepreneurs. Recently, the Mumbai Crime Branch busted an online gambling network spreading across India.

Ignoring the techno legal requirements for establishing online gambling and online gaming business and website in India could prove fatal in the long run. Perry4Law strongly recommends that online gaming and online gambling entrepreneurs must duly comply with techno legal compliances before launching their project and website.