There are a number of states in India that are currently debating the possibility of legalizing the online gaming industry and approving sports betting and games such as poker which will fall under the category of skill-games. While states like Maharashtra, Kerala and Hyderabad consider the pros and cons of legalizing these online skill games, Nagaland has already issued its first skill based gaming license.
Earlier this year, the Nagaland government had passed the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act 2016 legalizing skill based games and was in the process of developing regulation to govern the industry. The government recently confirmed that it had approved the first online skill based gaming license to M/s K365 Web Assets Pvt. Ltd which runs khelo365.com, an online poker website. The license is currently only valid for online poker games which are categorized as a skill-based game.
In a statement, Vinod Manoharan, Managing Director of K365 Web Assets said, “We are happy that the Nagaland government has finally issued the license to regulate online skill games. We are proud to be the first company to have procured the license and to have submitted all our documents to a regulatory authority. The license issued by the Nagaland government will end the debate on the legality of online poker once and for all, and will enable this industry to boom.”
The government had also issued a letter of intent or a provisional license back in August 2016 to Club Empire Tech Pvt. Ltd, an online rummy company. This license is a full online games of skill license. A similar letter of intent has been issued to an additional 10 gaming companies. The government conducted a detailed review into different regulations that government the online gambling industry and became the first state in India to approve online games of skill.
The director of the Nagaland State Lotteries looked at Random Number Generation (RNG) certification, tax related documents, company incorporation and software certification. The Nagaland skill based license authorizes gaming operators to provide services in all states and union territories where games of skill have been approved. The license also authorizes gaming operators to advertise their services in states and territories where games of skill are not classified under the category of gambling.
The success of skill based online gaming in Nagaland could pave the way for more states to adopt a similar stance.