MPL relocates registered office to Delhi from Bangalore

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With the shockwaves of the contentious Karnataka Police Amendment bill (aimed at combating betting and wagering) zapping the the city of start-ups, Bengaluru’s real money gaming operators seem to be bundling up their tents to move to less hostile locations.

Recently Fantasy Gaming Giant MPL’s shareholders approved the shifting of the company’s registered office in Bengaluru’s Hobli to Delhi’s Barakhamba Road as per their regulatory filings.

MPL was one of the first fantasy sports platforms to shut down its operations when the ban was announced. It is notable that MPL had become a unicorn after raising $150 Mn in its Series E round from Legatum Capital, Accrete Capital, among others.

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While Karnataka Police (Amendment) Act which is aimed at banning online gaming or betting has largely been perceived as a harsh measure as it prescribes maximum imprisonment of three years and a penalty of up to INR 1 lakh, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had recently said that his Government enacted this strict law against online gaming and gambling with the sole objective of protecting the health and peace of mind of poor families.

It is noteworthy that Southern India has been particularly tough on the online gaming sector with states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala enacting laws to prohibit gaming for stakes. The Madras High Court had struck down the amendment to Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930 in August while the Kerala High Court struck down the online rummy ban notification in September.

While high courts and state governments are busy deliberating on the matter, the Supreme Court in July this year had held fantasy sports as a game of skill.