There is need of a central regulation that regulates online skill gaming industry, rather than state-based laws.
The online gaming industry in India is riding a crest and this statement can be backed by KPMG data which says that its revenues have nearly doubled in the past four years, reaching Rs 4,380 crore in FY18 and is expected to grow further at a CAGR of 22.1 percent from FY 18-23 to reach Rs 11,880 crore.
Amid this fast pace growth, it is also important to keep a check on the way the industry functions.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation, (AIGF), an apex body that focuses on policy advocacy, research and forum in the online gaming industry, said: “Regularising the online gaming industry is needed because gaming laws in India are state-specific and different state laws are creating uncertainties for the online gaming industry. There should a common set of rules that govern skill gaming especially for player protection, fair play, good governance of the industry, and providing stability to online business operators and players.
He thinks that there should be a central regulation that regulates online skill gaming industry, rather than state-based laws.
“There should be a licensing regime for skill games at the central level through a gaming commission,” he added.
But how will regulating online gaming industry be beneficial to the economy?
According to Landers, when there’s stability in the industry businesses will grow.
“As reported by some top consulting firms that the online gaming sector will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of around 25 percent, it will mean creation of direct and indirect jobs as well as revenues to the exchequer through taxation,” he said.
He also pointed out that the gaming industry is responsible for the creation of around 7,000 direct and 3,000 indirect jobs in Goa and Sikkim.
“In addition, indirect employment will be generated from the ancillary telecommunications, marketing, financial, banking, and real estate sectors. Based on the above figures, we can extrapolate that the online gaming industry, if regulated, will create lakhs of direct and indirect jobs nationally,” he added.
There’s another aspect where regulation can help and that is regulating the online market for sports betting.
The popularity of sports betting has also been a factor in the growth of the gaming industry.
Although, betting is illegal, a huge market exists for the same.If betting is regulated, the Indian sports betting industry is estimated to contribute in the excess of Rs 19,000 crore in tax revenues to the government, as per a FICCI report.