The Sequoia Capital-funded Mobile Premier League (MPL) was among the first gaming startups to begin blocking user access in the Indian state of Karnataka on Wednesday following a ban on online gaming .
The law, which came into force Tuesday evening, prohibits online games involving betting and betting, and “any act or risk of money, or otherwise on the unknown outcome of an event including on a game of skill. “.
The latest ban has heightened fears that growing state regulation will hit India’s nascent but booming gaming industry, where foreign investors have injected millions of dollars in recent months.
On Wednesday morning, MPL’s game app showed users in Karnataka messages saying: “Sorry! Your state law does not allow you to play fantastic sports”, “Fantastic games are locked” and “The gambling are locked “.
The gaming app offers fantastic cricket and soccer games and allows real money betting on them.
Dream11, one of India’s most popular gaming apps backed by Tiger Global, was still up and running, but Paytm First Games was not.
Dream11 declined to comment, while MPL and Paytm did not immediately respond.
Karnataka, home to some of the world’s biggest tech companies and India’s tech capital, Bengaluru, is the latest Indian state to ban such online games after Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Tamil Nadu had also imposed such bans, but its bill was struck down by its high court.
An industry source earlier told Reuters that those states are important to the gaming industry and account for around 20% of the companies’ total revenue.
Roland Landers, Managing Director of the All India Gaming Federation, said “the industry will challenge this in court and seek legal redress.”
Two other industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday that players and some companies plan to challenge Karnataka’s new law in court.
The law imposes heavy fines and jail terms on violators and has been implemented amid growing concerns that online gaming platforms, like gambling, are addictive and can cause financial damage. .
(Reporting by Chandini Monappa and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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