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Young Turks: Experts discuss regulating gaming in India

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According to a RedSeer report, India’s gaming market is currently at $2.2 billion set to grow to $7 billion in the next five years. The gaming industry meanwhile is now seeking a central regulation for online gaming and a central regulatory body to govern this space. CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to a panel of experts on regulating gaming in India.

Earlier this week, the Karnataka High Court struck down the state government’s order banning online gambling games--the law had banned all formats of online games involving wagering, betting and gambling in the state. Last year, the Madras High Court had struck down a similar law that targeted online rummy and poker.
Over the last two years, we have seen states across the country clamping down on online gaming--from Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana, many states have placed restrictions, with games of skill, games of chance with real money being the main targets.
Last December, Sushil Kumar Modi urged the government to come up with a “comprehensive framework” to regulate online gaming, while the NITI Aayog has been batting for self-regulation by the industry.
Currently, India’s online skill gaming industry deals with fragmented laws at the state level while the central law is stuck in the 19th century. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 has been repeatedly declared outdated both by state high courts and the Supreme Court and not adequate to regulate online gaming.
The gaming industry meanwhile is now seeking a central regulation for online gaming and a central regulatory body to govern this space.
According to a RedSeer report, India’s gaming market is currently at $2.2 billion set to grow to $7 billion in the next five years.
As per one estimate, over 450 million of India’s 650 million-plus internet users play games on their smartphones now, with the pandemic playing its part in the tremendous growth of the sector over the last two years.
The question we are asking today is, given the potential of the Indian gaming industry, how can stakeholders work together to better regulate the sector and what should the contours be of a potential law that is pragmatic, and futuristic while protecting the interests of gamers? CNBC-TV18’s Shereen Bhan spoke to Manish Agarwal, CEO of Nazara Technologies; Trivikraman Thampy, Co-Founder of Games24x7; Sameer Barde, CEO of E Gaming Federation; and R Chandrashekhar, Chairman, Centre for The Digital Future.
Watch video for more.
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