Mobile Game FAU-G Founder Swamped With Cases For Posts On Online Gambling

By moGossip Team Apr 1, 2021  


Serial entrepreneur Vishal Gondal has been bombarded with "unwarranted" police complaints and legal notices from across the country for his views against online gambling. The suits are being filed by cartels out to silence him, the founder-CEO of California-based fitness-tech firm GOQii has alleged. In a tweet, he has even appealed to, among others, Prime Minister Narendra Modi for intervention.

In an article published in Medianama in January, Mr Gondal had written about the need for a regulatory framework for online gambling in India, citing its harmful effects, including on minors. Roulette, blackjack, poker, bingo, sports betting, fantasy sport betting, lotteries, and rummy are some of the games that, according to him, have only "piecemeal regulation".

The founder of online game FAU-G has also frequently posted his views on the matter on social media, seemingly provoking the backlash. Since February 12, Mr Gondal has received at least 11 notices from places as varied as New Delhi, Goa, Gwalior, and Solan. They have cited various reasons for suing the startup investor, from "defaming a hobby" to "hurting religious sentiments". 

One Abdul Amir Amiro of the national capital, for instance, has said through his lawyer's notice that he is fond of playing the card game of Rummy online. By associating the game with "addiction and financial loss" in his tweets, the notice says, Mr Gondal was "defaming Rummy" as gambling. Since the practice is banned in Islam, Mr Amiro says, such views were hurting his sentiments. The notice has also sought ₹ 25 lakh in compensation for "harassment, depression, loss of reputation, defamation". 

In another such example, Shaishav Dev of Patna has said in his legal notice that by comparing him, an "avid player of online real mobile gaming platform", to "junkies and addicts", Mr Gondal had "sullied" his "long-standing reputation". Mr Dev has sought ₹ 3 lakh in damages. The serial investor has stuck to his views, though, and explained in his replies to the legal notices that he has not targeted any individual or entity.

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