Government Says It Will Plan Regulation Of All Real Money Online Games

India’s proposed online gambling law will apply to all real-money games after the prime minister’s office scrapped a proposal to regulate only games of skill and leave out games of chance, according to a government document and three sources.

The much-anticipated regulations seem to be shaping the future of the Indian gaming industry which research firm Redseeer estimates will be worth $7 billion (roughly Rs. 57,000 crore) by 2026, dominated by real money games. Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital have in recent years backed Indian startups Dream11 and Mobile Premier League, popular for fantasy cricket.

An Indian panel tasked with drafting the law in August proposed a new body that would determine whether a game involves skill or chance, then allow games of skill to be governed by organized association rules that require registration, know-your-customer and appeal. Entering the repair method.

Games of chance – considered similar to gambling, which is heavily banned across India – were supposed to remain under state governments that would be free to regulate them, Reuters previously reported.

But at an Oct. 26 cabinet meeting, an official from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office opposed such a classification, calling for greater focus on all forms of sports, according to confidential minutes of the meeting reviewed by Reuters.

Classifying gaming as a skill or opportunity was not easy due to a lack of legal clarity and comparative court decisions, the minutes quoted the official as saying, adding “online gaming may be considered a single undifferentiated activity/service.”

Defining sports has been controversial in India. The Supreme Court of India says that the card game rummy and some fantasy games are skill-based and legal, for example, while different federal courts have taken different views on games like poker.

Modi’s office and the IT ministry, which drafts the rules, did not respond to a request for comment.

Three people directly involved in the rule-making process, including two government officials in New Delhi, told Reuters that the rules would give federal officials broad oversight over all forms of gaming while state governments would retain the authority to impose laws prohibiting gambling, or games of chance. opportunity.

The creation of these new laws comes amid growing concern that the proliferation of such games, especially among young people, has led to addiction and loss of money, as there are reported cases of suicide.

One government source said the Modi administration continues to be concerned about the potential addiction of these platforms.

A government panel report in August recommended that the new laws should include so-called “anti-addiction measures” such as periodic warnings and advice as well as deposit and withdrawal limits.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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