Industry Experts Welcome the Inter-Ministerial Task Force Initiative for Regulating Online Gaming

Industry players and experts believe that the constitution of the task force is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of making India’s digital gaming sector a global powerhouse.

The online gaming industry’s pursuit for a uniform regulatory framework and clarity on the legal paradigm finally bore fruit, as the government has set up an Inter-Ministerial Task Force aimed at regulating the Indian online gaming sector. The Chief Executive Officer of government’s think tank NITI Aayog, as well as secretaries of 7 different ministries will constitute this panel. This decision from the government comes after taking the requests of the online gaming industry into consideration and working towards eradicating the ambiguity this industry has been shrouded in up until now.

This move has offered relief to the online gaming sector, which is enthused to see how the committee’s work pans out. The online gaming sector in India has made some positive strides in the past few years despite several regulatory hurdles, making this decision a motivating milestone for them. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, the mobile gaming market in India is set to touch $5billion by 2025 at a CAGR of 15%. The sector also brings a myriad of employment opportunities in several skilled areas to the table. Considering these factors, the online gaming industry has evidently fixated itself as a strong pillar to India’s multi-trillion-dollar economy.

In a similar vein, Prof. Ratnakar Shetty, Advisor, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports stated, “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.”

Due to the lack of a standardised rulebook applicable to every part of the country, the thriving industry has stumbled upon different hurdles like umbrella bans, definition-based misconceptions, etc. The Task Force will aim to tackle the legal discrepancies by studying global practices pertinent to online gaming, as well as the issues surrounding the Indian online gaming sector. Thereafter, it will work on submitting a comprehensive report within 90 days, consisting of a thorough analysis of this paradigm as well as recommendations to build a concise framework to regulate it by easing business and compliance, levelling the playing field, and protecting gamers from inadvertent effects.

To add on, Rameesh Kailasam, Chief Executive Officer, IndiaTech.Org, also 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 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 Hon’ble PM Narendra Modi’s vision for furthering India’s digital prowess. ”

The panel set up by the government brings in the expertise of secretaries coming from different ministries ranging across Home Affairs, Youth Affairs & Sports, Information & Broadcasting, Finance, Legal Affairs, and Electronics & Information Technology. The industry is enthused to work with the committee in regulating and nurturing the growth of this sunrise sector.

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