India’s online gaming industry is fast gaining solid ground across the country at a rapid pace. The industry, which includes verticals like fantasy gaming, online poker, and online rummy, among others, has gone on to become a crucial industry for the nation’s growth.
According to reports, India’s online gaming population has grown from 360 million in 2020 to 510 million in 2022. As per news reports, the online poker industry has been growing at a rate of 35 – 40% every year. So far, there are over 3 million (as of Jan 2021) active poker players in the country, with the number increasing with every passing year. The fantasy sports market is also rumoured to be valued at ₹34,600 Crore as of 2021.
It is anticipated to have an exponential jump and gain a 32% CAGR between 2022 and 2032. As per a report by EY- All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) called ‘Online gaming in India – The GST conundrum’ the online gaming industry in India will generate revenue of ₹154 Billion by the year 2023.
The Government of India also recognized esports as a part of multi-sports events in December 2022. Similarly, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has also started to present its opinion and propose amendments to the IT rules with regard to online gaming. With the Union Budget 2023 set to be announced soon, here’s what the Indian gaming sector expects from the center.
The CEO of PlayerzPot, Sunil Yadav, spoke his mind and said, “With the Union Budget 2023 right around the corner, we eagerly look forward to its impact on the gaming industry. The upcoming budget can create a more favorable business environment with regards to Goods and Services Tax (GST), ease of doing business and that can attract talent from Tier II and Tier III cities too.”
He also added that, “India’s gaming industry is expected to reach $8.6 Billion by 2027, demonstrating its huge potential for growth. By giving it the attention and importance it deserves, the industry in India is poised for even greater success. In this budget, we hope roadblocks like bans and a lack of regulations get addressed. The Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comic (AVGC) Task Force that was announced last year is a great step to catalyze the industry’s growth, but we believe there is scope to do more in this regard.”
“What will also be interesting is the outcome of a recent proposal in the online gaming policy that involves establishing a self-regulatory organization (SRO) to handle the registration and approval of games. Primarily, what the industry needs is a proper set of guidelines and rules to grow further. With the right policies in place, the gaming industry in India has the potential to become a major economic driver for the country,” Yadav added.
The Co-founder and CEO of MPL, Sai Srinivas also shared his opinion ahead of the highly awaited 2023 budget. He quoted, “2023 is already shaping up to be a watershed moment for the gaming industry. With the government releasing draft online gaming rules earlier this month, the burgeoning sector will see a lot more success this year.”
Srinivas added, “In addition to this, the industry hopes to get clarity in a few areas. The first is the GST mechanism on online gaming. We hope the government provides clarity on the tax slab applicable on skill gaming. Access to financial support, as envisaged under this, will be a tremendous boost to young talented developers and designers, and will accelerate the push to ‘create in India’ and take made-in-India games to the world. We believe that India’s online gaming industry can truly lead the charge in the global digital economy and a uniform, progressive policy can be the wind in its sails.”
Ankur Singh, CEO and Founder, Witzeal Technologies, also shared his expectations for the gaming industry ahead of the budget. He said, “The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) recently published a draft of rules pertaining to online gaming for public consultation. It is encouraging to have the government supporting India’s burgeoning and promising online gaming industry flourish.”
He also added, “We believe that government backing would provide the entire ecosystem with the much-needed boost it needs because the industry is creating opportunities for the start-up space, luring Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and boosting the national economy. The sector growth will be further boosted by strengthening the AVGC task force set up, which was established in the previous year’s budget.”
“We also expect the government to take into account the taxation aspect in the upcoming Union Budget, which would provide Indian businesses with a competitive edge and encourage them to meet international standards,” Singh added.
Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) also commented on the pre-budget expectations from the industry. He said, “AIGF is determined to implement the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision for the online gaming sector through the continued expansion and transformation of this industry in India. We have seen a lot of progressive regulatory moves recently in the context of online gaming which has all been very welcome.”
He further added, “With the AVGC Task Force’s recommendations for a game development fund and the annual gaming expo, the recognition of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports as the nodal ministry for esports, and the draft IT rules for gaming intermediaries, the gaming industry is well positioned to be a torch bearer for brand India.”
“Since the future of this industry is extremely positive, there is truly a lot for the gaming industry to look forward to. A well-clarified and progressive taxation regime would provide an immense boost to this sunrise sector. Such a move will make gaming a cornerstone of digital India and be the catalyst for India to achieve its goal of a trillion-dollar digital economy,” Landers revealed.
The revenue in online gaming rose up to 28% in 2021, finding itself at a valuation of $1.2 Billion. It is expected to reach $1.9 Billion by 2024 and cross the ₹38,000 Crore mark by 2026. India’s online gaming industry is reported to have a base of nearly 303 Million mobile gamers with the fantasy gaming category having a strong user base of 130 Million.
It is also worth noting that India is claimed to have one of the largest mobile gaming markets across the globe. Citing the exponential growth and ability to reach new heights, all eyes will be on the government and the policies they propose in the upcoming Union Budget to ensure the growth of online gaming in India.
Gutshot Magazine is India’s leading real money gaming magazine that covers news, updates, previews, highlights, features and much more across verticals like poker, rummy, and fantasy sports. Our rich history that has spanned over a decade now, Gutshot Magazine has always tied up with events and tournaments that have helped push the awareness of skill gaming in the country. If you are looking for the latest updates across real money gaming, then you have arrived at the perfect destination.
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