The Nagaland government has started the process of issuing licenses for online games of skill under the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act 2016. The first license has been issued to M/s K365 Web Assets Pvt. Ltd., which operates the online poker website khelo365 .com. The license is for the game of poker only at this stage.
Earlier in August 2016 a provisional license or Letter of Intent had been issued to online rummy company Club Empire Tech Pvt. Ltd., and it has now also been awarded a second go-live license for the game of poker. Founder and director, Swapnil Chaturvedi, commented: “This is a huge boost to the skill gaming industry and has tremendous future in India.”
Around ten more LOIs have been issued by the government to different companies.
Nagaland is the first Indian state to pass a specific law to regulate online skill games. It issued its first license having examined the relevant documents including Random Number Generation (RNG) certification, software certification, company incorporation and tax related documents, which were reviewed by the Director, Nagaland State Lotteries.
The license issued by the Nagaland State Lotteries indicates that the licensee may offer its services to all states or union territories where games of skill are permitted. Further, the license also indicates that online websites may advertise their services to all such territories where games of skill are exempted from the definition of gambling.
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.”