Online gaming has been on the continuous rise in India, especially during a pandemic. People are confined in the four corners of the home, and a way to keep themselves entertained is through online games. As a matter of fact, Indians are fond of online games even before the pandemic.
The availability of affordable smartphones along with accessible internet and data packs and various online games have been influential in the country’s continuous rise of online gambling. The number of online gamers in India has grown tremendously since the pandemic, which is quite surprising but beneficial.
The big boom in India’s online gaming sector has benefited the country in many ways. For one, the economy remains steadfast despite the devastating effect of a pandemic. We are all aware of how the pandemic has negatively affected not only India but the entire world. It has also kept the people entertained even if confined at homes. It has been a form of entertainment and stress relief to keep one’s sanity in this crazy time.
However, the big question is, “Is there really a need to regulate online gaming?” The answer is a big YES! Online gaming is a huge industry divided into e-sports, fantasy sports, and online casual games. Despite the success of the online gaming sector, it lacks regulatory oversight, at least in India. It remains in the grey area, and there’s no comprehensive legislation with regard to the legality or limitation with betting and gambling.
The legality of online gaming in India
While online gaming in India remains in the grey area, you would start to question whether it is legal to participate in online games, especially the ones that involve gambling, such as blackjack, poker, baccarat, and sports betting. To win real money, many Indian gamers like to play blackjack online, but the majority of them play discretely for the reason that the law regarding online gambling is vague.
In most Indian states, online gaming involving money is allowed, but players are highly encouraged to play discretely. Not a single Indian was arrested for participating in online games, for the record. Here’s the catch: games based on skills are allowed in most parts of the country. However, games primarily driven by chance remain in the ambit of gambling. There are states in India that prohibit it.
The National Government has no clear instruction with regard to online gaming, especially online gambling. It is clear that betting and gambling is state subject, and each Indian state has its own legislation. Some of the Indian states that placed online gaming restrictions for games of skills and chance include Nagaland, Assam, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.
Why is there a need to regulate online games?
A significant number of people develop a dependency on online gaming, which has a devastating effect on the lives of the player and their immediate families. During a pandemic, screen time has increased dramatically. It has been an issue to the adult population and even in the younger population.
The dependency on online games has affected their performance in schools and even in social life. It also has an immense impact on health because sitting in front of the computer or mobile phone for a long period of time can lead to weight gain.
Not to mention, it also weakens the muscles and bones, making you susceptible to injuries. Regulating online games is more needed in games involving money (gambling). The goal is to prevent addiction and promote responsible gambling.
Online gaming platforms have input measures to prevent the possibility of addiction and dependency, but even so, there is a strong need to regulate it. The Indian government should carefully look into it because better regulation leads to a more desirable and enjoyable gaming experience. It will also benefit the country’s taxation and the economy as a whole.
Online games have been a great source of fun, entertainment, and income for people involved in real money games. However, it is a must to build checks and balances, and it is where online gaming regulation comes in. A well-regulated online gaming industry offers many advantages, especially if you look at it from an economic standpoint.
The online gaming industry in India is expected to grow in the coming years, and the more it needs regulating to set things straight. Proper regulation would result in a better income tax return, attracting potential global investors.
For many years now, India’s online gaming sector, particularly online gambling, has been in the grey area, and it is now timely to regulate it. With better regulation, things will be more productive and favourable not only for Indian players but for the country as a whole.
It would lead to better investment opportunities, better income, improvement in taxation, and improvement in its socio-economic status.