While some of the bigger states in India battle to legalize the online gambling industry, smaller states are finding it a lot easier to push for the legalization of online gambling. Nagaland, a state in Northeast India recently approved new legislation that makes it the first state in the country to offer legalized online skill games.
The bigger states have to deal with a lot of opposition from political and religious organizations who oppose the gambling industry. However legislators in Nagaland were able to reach a consensus after carefully studying a proposal to legalized online skill games. The bill makes it clear that the state will only offer games that are based on skills and not on luck or chance.
The Nagaland legislation defines game of skills as any games which “relates to strategizing the manner of placing wagers or placing bets or where the skill lies in team selection or selection of virtual stock based on analyses or where the skill relates to the manner in which the moves are made, whether deployment of physical or mental skill and acumen.”
Now that Nagaland has decided to approve online skill based games, online poker operators and daily fantasy sports sites will be looking to quickly enter the market and capture as much market share as they can. Back in July 2015, the Chief Minister TR Zeilang rolled out the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion of Online Games of Skill Bill, 2015 which allows wagering to occur on games of skills but prevents any form of betting on games that rely heavily on chance.
This bill was further studied by a special committee during the past few months who after much research submitted a review last week to the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) and stated that they were satisfied with the regulations proposed by the bill and the revenues expected to be derived by the state government from legalizing online skill games. The committee has recommended for the bill to be approved and all it needs now is for the state governor to sign and approve the bill.
Once the state governor signs the bill, the government will form a team that will set out a clear licensing process and outline the regulations that online gaming operators will have to abide by. The process is expected to take a few more months and if everything goes as per plan, online gaming operators could be offering skill based games in Nagaland before the end of the year.