Khelplay.com recently organized a panel discussion on ‘Recent Developments in the Skill Games Industry’- a seminar on legal, regulatory and tax updates for poker players and operators. The event was attended by a large number of operators, players and professionals.
Kuntal Sampat, Vice President of Sachar Gaming Pvt. Ltd. which operates khelplay.com introduced the audience to khelplay.com and its state of the art features.
Jay Sayta, founder of this website and moderator of the seminar opened the discussion by saying that games of skill like poker, rummy and fantasy sports enjoy an exalted status as per India’s gaming laws and do not amount to gambling, contrary to popular perception. He added that staking of money on games of skill like poker and rummy is understood to be completely legal and therefore after the dot com boom a large number of companies have started offering skill games although the industry is still in a nascent stage.
He also noted that the purpose of the seminar was to create awareness about all the happenings around the skill games industry and significance of recent developments like the law passed by the Nagaland government and taxation, foreign exchange issues faced by players as well as potential and market size of the industry.
According to Amit Varma, Senior journalist and columnist, “Gambling is legal in Britain and also some parts of India. The complete legalization of poker can be responsible of economic development of the country.”
Gowree Gokhale, Senior Partner of Nishith Desai Associates said, “In most states (except Assam and Odisha) games of skill is excluded from the ambit of gambling. Operators should carefully structure how to comply with law and either put a disclaimer to restrict players from Assam and Odisha or geo-block persons from these states.”
Vidushpat Singhania, sports lawyer and Partner of Krida Legal said “The whole distinction between games of skill and chance is a British concept and the idea of skill gaming developed from that time. Due to the advent of technology, since gambling and skill games are provided online, the question lies whether it will lie in the ambit of the state or the central government.”
Various other aspects pertaining to taxation, foreign exchange, consumer protection and fair play related issues faced by skill games players and operators were also discussed by the panelists in an engaging discussion.