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  • A regulatory framework for the Online Gaming industry: Need of the hour

    Published on March 26, 2019

    Mumbai  :  -Ahead of finalizing their party manifestos, the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) a not-for-profit Industry body that focuses on policy advocacy, research and forum for discussion among various stakeholders associated with the online gaming industry approached members of the BJP & INC manifesto committees to request inclusion for central regulation of online gaming in their respective manifestos.

    Expressing his views, All India Gaming Federation, CEO, Mr. Roland Landers said,“It is commendable that the two main political parties have looked at inclusiveness and suggestions from people across the Country in their manifestos. We wanted to highlight this critical issue of regulation in the online gaming industry, that has long been ignored but is the need of the hour and hence have sent our suggestions to the respective committees highlighting the benefits that will accrue to all stakeholders.

    The online gaming industry can generate substantial revenues to the exchequer, create jobs, ensure responsible gaming and also curb and eliminate illegal activities like match fixing & money laundering if brought under formal regulation and taxed rationally.

    Gaming is a State subject in India and each State has their own Gaming Acts. While most of these Acts are archaic in nature, gaming businesses have gone digital over the years and hence a Central regulatory framework for the Online Gaming industry is the ideal way forward.

    It may also be noted that in July, 2018, the 21st Law Commission of India in its 276threport had stated – “Accordingly, the Commission reaches the inescapable conclusion that legalizing betting and gambling is not desirable in India in the present scenario. Therefore, the State authorities must ensure enforcement of a complete ban on unlawful betting and gambling. However, incapability to enforce a complete ban has resulted in rampant increase in illegal gambling, resulting in a boom in black-money generation and circulation. Since it is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option”

    Thiruvananthapuram MP and senior Congress Leader Dr. Shashi Tharoor, had introduced a Private Member’s Bill, titled the Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud) Bill in the lower house of parliament on 28th December 2018. The Bill, 2018 aimed to introduce an effective administration to maintain the integrity of sports in India by preventing and penalizing sports fraud and for regulation of online sports gaming, Indian Sports Betting Sites.

    AIGF has been at the forefront of advocating for a regulated Online Gaming marketplace in India, so that the malpractices of the black markets are eliminated. We sincerely hope that both the BJP & INC consider the recommendations of the Law Commission of India positively and to favor our humble request to include regulating of online gaming in their respective manifestos.