The Government of India has proposed an online gaming regulatory body, which will be a panel composed of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s top bureaucrats. The panel will recommend the implementation of a regulatory body to govern online gaming in the country. They will also issue a highly anticipated report that will shape the future of the online gaming industry in the country.
The panel will include top bureaucrats, such as the heads of the revenue and sports ministries. The panel has suggested the creation of a regulatory body that will classify online games based on skill or chance. This will finally help solve the endless debate that has been bothering in the online gaming industry.
The draft report will also include the introduction of rules to ban the prohibited formats of games and take stricter action on gambling websites. The panel members have been working on the draft of online gaming sector regulations for months. The highly awaited report is said to be a deciding factor for the future of the mobile gaming industry in the country.
In recent times, state governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been actively banning games such as rummy and others. The draft report which comes at such a time will bring in more clarity where online gaming and online gambling apps are under increased scrutiny.
The report notes that state governments find it ‘difficult to implement and monitor geo-fencing measures,’ and thus are unable to ensure that the users in their region are accessing illegal forms of gambling or gaming.
Finally, the IT Ministry will conclude the report on receipt of further comments from panel members. The draft report will then be sent to the cabinet secretariat for approval. However, no timeline has been fixed for the entire process and finalization.
India’s online gaming industry stands at $1.5 billion this year, and is expected to reach $5 billion by 2025. Foreign investors like Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital have heavily backed gaming startups that are known for their fantasy sports offerings such as Dream11 and Mobile Premier League.’ Investment in the sector saw a massive flow of over 1.7 billion USD in the last 17 months, with the rise of 400 online gaming startups in India. The country is also witnessing a rise in employment opportunities within the online gaming job market.
Amidst the growing concerns over games causing addiction and ‘inconsistent state laws’ disrupting business, the growth of the industry cannot be overlooked. Additionally, the gaming industry also continues to lack the need of the central government’s guidelines for online gaming and a central body to monitor the space.
A panel comprised of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s top bureaucrats recommended the implementation of a regulatory body governing online gaming in a much-awaited report which will shape the future of the gaming industry in the country.
— Asia Gaming Brief (@agbrief) September 20, 2022
Online skill gaming cannot be considered as gambling only because it involves a subscription-led or involving an entry fee. According to the judgments given by various courts, ‘games of skill’ are legitimate business activities shielded under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution as they do not fall under the purview of ‘gambling.’.
Last month, a group of ministers met industry bodies and leading operators from the online gaming space and discussed the valuation approach for GST on online gaming. The meetings attempted to understand the difference between online skill gaming and betting and gambling.
Looking at the unprecedented growth of the industry so far, a well-defined regulatory framework will play a huge role in its growth in the coming times. Progressive steps to effectively regulate this sector is the need of the hour.
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by expressing herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in anything that satisfies her creative self, like drawing and DIY crafts.
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