The online gaming industry’s quest for a unified regulatory framework and legal clarity has finally paid off, with the Central Government setting up an Inter-Ministerial Task Force to regulate the Indian online gaming business. This panel will include the Chief Executive Officer of the government’s think tank, NITI Aayog, as well as secretaries from seven different ministries.
The government took the decision after considering the requests of the online gaming business with a view to eliminating the ambiguity that has surrounded the industry until now.
Reacting to the development, Prof Ratnakar Shetty, Advisor, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, said, “The rapid growth of this industry has amounted to many positive trends but also a few untoward outcomes. A comprehensive, uniform and progressive regulatory framework will not only proliferate the constructive trends, but also weed out the negative outcomes relating to over-indulgence or financial losses. This will ensure the industry prospers under a sound regime, giving way to a responsible and safe online gaming environment.”
This decision has brought relief to the online gambling industry, which is eager to watch how the committee’s work progresses. Despite various regulatory difficulties, India’s online gaming sector has achieved significant progress in recent years, making this decision a motivating milestone for them.
Due to the lack of a standardised rule book that applies to all parts of the country, the thriving industry has run into stumbling blocks such as umbrella prohibitions, definition-based misunderstandings, and so on.
The Task Force will research global practices relevant to online gaming as well as issues surrounding the Indian online gaming business, in order to address legislative inconsistencies. It will work on submitting a comprehensive report within 90 days that will include a thorough analysis of this paradigm as well as recommendations for constructing a concise framework to regulate it by making business and compliance easier, levelling the playing field, and protecting gamers from unintended consequences.
Rameesh Kailasam, Chief Executive Officer, IndiaTech.Org, stated, “The move to regulate online gaming in an enabling manner as envisaged by the Government of India is a step in the right direction and something that the industry has been looking forward to.”
The inter-ministerial task force and its recommendations will hopefully provide the much needed relief to the online gaming industry which is currently stuck in various state law interpretations.
“As Indiatech.org represents founders and investors in India’s startup ecosystem, online gaming is a big sunrise sector that can take Indian online gaming startups to the world. This industry will significantly thrive with the approach taken towards development of regulations centrally that will promote growth of legitimate and compliant businesses thereby aligning itself with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for furthering India’s digital prowess.”