Online gaming industry fine with Indian govt regulating games of skill and chance under one framework

The government wants to stop online gambling apps based in foreign countries from infesting the e-gaming space, which is thriving in India.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, December 09, 2022, 08:25 PM IST
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Rummy and poker at casinos may have been associated in another era, but in the digital age, they have been classified as games of skill and not games of chance, which aren’t welcome in all states across India. Fantasy sports and online card games gaining popularity thanks to events such as IPL and a growing population of smartphone users, have also triggered a debate about games of skill and what some states categorise as gambling. Now the Indian government is to be considering the same framework to regulate both games of skill and games of chance, because there’s lack of legal clarity on their differentiation.

Industry body positive about new norms

The reports come as an interministerial task force has recommended measures for grievance redressal, cracking down on gambling, and distinguishing it from games of skill. This has been received positively by industry body, the All India Gaming Federation, which has shared standards for consumer protection, setting age limits and fair play among other things. Even though more than 100 firms associated with the federation are already following consumer protection guidelines, the organisation feels that a common framework is needed with more than 1000 gaming platforms across India.

Filtering out gambling from online gaming

In order to tackle gambling websites based in other countries, the Indian government has decided not to distinguish between games of chance and games of skill while spelling out norms for the online gaming sector. The industry has its eyes on regulations as the online gaming sector is worth $2.5 billion now.

At 17 per cent, India also accounts for the highest number of game downloads across globe. The local online gaming sector’s revenue is also expected to surge past $1.5 billion for 2022, riding on strong demand for games such as rummy and fantasy cricket.

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