Authorities in India are analysing the possibility of introducing a regulatory regime for online gaming with a regulator to sanction illicit operations.
India.- As more states begin to rethink the idea of banning gambling due to missed potential tax revenue, authorities are considering the possibility of establishing a regulatory regime for online gambling. According to local media reports, the government now wants to curb increasing illegal operations by creating a new regulator.
Through the Online Gambling Regulation Act, the government would create a central gambling regulator, the Online Gambling Commission, with a mandate to oversee the operations of online gambling operators and punish illegal operators. It would have the power to issue, suspend and revoke licences for online gambling.
The committee would also have the power to make rules related to licensing, including on who is eligible to gamble.
To date, apart from the Supreme Court’s precedent on skill-based gambling, there is no federal statute to govern India’s gambling industry, with each state taking its own stance on the issue. In March, the All India Game Federation (AIGF) had urged Indian states to take a proactive approach to develop a robust policy framework for the online gaming industry.
PK Mishra, president of All India Gaming Federation, told News9: “India has more than 200 million e-gamers playing across more than 200 platforms. E-sports and e-gaming, under the umbrella of digital economy growth, are going to play an important role in the Indian economy.
“To encourage this, the e-gaming industry needs robust policy frameworks and digital infrastructure to foray towards being a global leader.”
India’s online gaming spend increased by 26% in 2021
In March, a report from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Ernst & Young found that the number of players paying for online gaming in India has grown 17 per cent from 80 million in 2020 to 95 million in 2021.
The total number of online gaming players increased by 8 per cent from 360 million to 390 million. By 2023, the number is expected to exceed 450 million. According to the report, the annual revenue of the online gaming segment in India grew by 28 per cent, from Rs79bn in 2020 to Rs101bn in 2021.