The FICCI Gaming Committee has urged the government to adopt an enabling gaming policy protecting players while ensuring a secure, and responsible gaming environment. The remarks came in response to a recent statement by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on bringing an end to online gaming in the state. Considerably, the Madras high court struck down an amendment to the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930, banning online games last year.
“While we appreciate the intent of the government to protect the users, a wide-ranging ban seems excessive and disproportionate in meeting its objectives. It shall also severely impact these new technology-driven legitimate businesses that are generating much need jobs and revenues for the state,” Arun Chawla, director general, FICCI, said.
According to the federation, the need of the hour is a stable regulatory mechanism capturing clear requirements that protects consumers and operations of lawful operators. It has also reiterated that blanket bans do not ensure player protection but instead, benefits unscrupulous fly-by-night operators and encourages illicit and underground gaming activities leading to detrimental impacts on the very populations the government seeks to protect.
The growth of 27% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) generated by the online skill gaming industry in 2020 has made it the fastest-growing segment within the Indian media and entertainment sector, as stated by Roland Landers, convener, FICCI Gaming Committee and CEO, All India Gaming Federation. The sunrise online skill gaming industry is responsible for facilitating 400 plus startups in this sector and attracted more than 400 million gamers – young Indians providing them viable alternate job opportunities in Esports and other gaming businesses, Landers added.
“All AIGF stakeholders are governed by the skill games charter that ensure global best practices across responsible gaming and gamer protection. It is in the best interests of all concerned that the State Govt works with the skill gaming industry to build a robust regulatory framework to ensure all stakeholders across the ecosystem benefit economically and socially notably taxation revenues gaming and allowance for Indian registered gaming companies to operate in the state,” Landers said.