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Experts Say Karnataka’s Proposed Online Gaming Ban is a Setback to Gaming Industry

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A few weeks ago, the Karnataka State proposed a ban on online games involving betting and wagering, emphasising on “any act or risking money, or otherwise on the unknown result of an event including a game of skill”.

The state government said the bill will help keep youth from rural areas from being idle in cities and towns as they tend to become habitual gamblers.

Karnataka’s move to ban games involving skills could prove detrimental to the revenues of large gaming platforms such as Dream11. This is in contrast to existing gambling laws in India, such as the ones in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, that are dependent on chance, Puneet Bhasin, a Mumbai-based lawyer, said.

India categorises games into two main parts — games of skill and games of chance. While games of skill require players to possess analytical and decision-making capabilities, games of chance are based purely on luck.

Games like Dream11 and Mobile Premier League (MPL) offer skill-based games, where players use relevant data like career statistics, career form, strengths and weaknesses to choose sportspersons to include in their “fantasy team”, according to Tanmay Singh, litigation counsel at Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF).

Shivani Jha, Director of eSports Players Welfare Association, added that players are not risking money to win an uncertain event while playing skill-based games. “They are paying registration fees for an event with a controlled outcome because skill in involved. This must not be confused with wagering,” Jha added.

Karnataka is home to 91 gaming firms that collectively employ about 4000 people, according to data from Startup Business Academy.

“The move to pass the Karnataka Police (Amendment) Compliance Act, 2021 act a setback to the online skill gaming sunrise industry as well as to the state’s reputation of being a tech-hub and start-up capital,” Roland Landers, CEO of All India Gaming Federation, said.

“There is the clear distinction that needs to be drawn between games of skill such as bridge, eSports and games of chance.”

According to Landers, expanding the ban to the legitimate industry that has created many unicorns and is going to be a significant contributor to the Indian economy is not justified.

Singh noted the move represents an “impermissible expansion of the law” that encroaches upon fundamental freedoms and violates the constitutional rights of the residents of the state.

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React Gaming to Offer LOOT.BET Esports Wagering Skin via HHRP in the Philippines

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Generationz Gaming Entertainment, a subsidiary of the React Gaming Group, has signed a white label revenue sharing agreement with HHRP Inc to operate LOOT.BET’s esports wagering platform in the Philippines, pending successful certification of the LOOT.BET platform by Gaming Laboratories International.

“We are thrilled to have HHRP as a partner for the Philippines market, HHRP being one of only four companies holding online gaming licences in a country of more than 109 million people,” Laurent Benezra, President and CEO of React Gaming, said.

“This agreement is part of our two-pronged growth strategy to expand LOOT.BET’s reach into the B2C and B2B markets. The advantage of the B2B market is that LOOT.BET’s platform will be offered to established customer bases, thus involving no customer acquisition cost on our part. Our partner will offer our white-label platform as its own to its customers and we will receive a portion of the revenue generated when those customers use the platform. The more popular our platform, the more revenue it will generate. The great thing about this model is that we can replicate it in multiple markets and with multiple online gaming providers at minimal cost,” Laurent Benezra added.

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BetMakers Signs Agreement with Royal Sabah Turf Club

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BetMakers has signed an agreement with the Royal Sabah Turf Club to provide its solutions to the Malaysian racecourse operator and its betting network.

Through the five-year deal, BetMakers will deliver a tote betting system along with content management services at the Tambalang Race Course and the Royal Sabah’s off-course betting network, via its Global Tote and Global Racing Network divisions.

BetMakers will be the exclusive rights holder for races held at the Malaysian club within both Tote and fixed-odds markets. BetMakers owns Global Tote, which it acquired from Sportech last year. Global Tote will deliver the Quantum to the Royal Sabah Turf Club as a SaaS solution, which will provide the club with the operational tools and training to distribute races to racetracks licensed by betting operators worldwide.

Lance Ku, Director of Sales & Business Development Asia for Global Tote, said: “Global Tote is very pleased to extend and grow our partnership with Royal Sabah Turf Club. The Global Tote solution offers advanced capabilities and features that will help them deliver a fantastic customer experience.

“Combined with Global Racing Network’s professional content management solution, Royal Sabah has a powerful route by which to pursue opportunities for growth.”

Datuk Peter Chin, Chairman of Royal Sabah Turf Club, said: “We have been very pleased with the services we receive from Global Tote and having the ability to turn to BetMakers for both our betting technologies and services, as well as for content distribution management, offers Royal Sabah Turf Club the most efficient, effective means by which to reach new markets for our racing, new content for our customers, and new revenue streams.”

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Mayhem Studios announces its first Battle Royale title

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Mayhem Studios announces its first Battle Royale title
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“Underworld Gang Wars” or UGW, which revolves around the rivalry between two gangs, launched through India’s largest drone show designed for a game reveal

 Mayhem Studios, India’s first studio for AAA games has announced its first title “Underworld Gang Wars” (UGW), a Battle Royale game set in India. With the characters and plot rooted in India, the game promises an exciting setting with some interesting characters inspired by stories of India.

Set in a truly Indian plot, the locations, the gangs and the icons represent an Indian context in a AAA game for the first time. The theme, weapons, and the maps of the game have been designed to offer a unique experience to the gamers.

The gameplay becomes intense in UGW as the underdog gang from the West wants to take control of the Eastern region from its arch-rival urban gang.

To provide an authentic experience, each region depicted in the game resembles a real location in India, be it the coal mines or the next-door apartment complex. It also has iconic landmarks including a fort, station, stadium and a racecourse.

Scheduled to be launched later this year, the game’s pre-registration window will open from 22nd May.

Commenting on the announcement, Ojas Vipat, CEO of Mayhem Studios, said: “We are thrilled to come up with the first Battle Royale Title that promises to offer one of the most relatable storylines for gamers. UGW’s unique locations and the highly relatable universe with great graphics are sure to provide a great experience for Battle Royale players. We are also excited to put together a blockbuster game with some unique stories of India for the world.”

Mayhem Studios has conducted India’s biggest game reveal through a drone show at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse. Through this drone show, the studio revealed the game logo and also created a QR code that directed the onlookers to the game teaser.

The event was also attended by leading gaming influencers and enthusiasts like Tanmay Bhat, Mortal, Scout and Dynamo Gaming.

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