In 2022, for the first time, India’s only gaming and esports news portal G2G.News came up with the list of ‘22 people to watch out for in the real money gaming industry in India in 2022’. The list proved to be correct with the subsequent developments in the sector led by the people in the list.
From the earlier list, Karnataka CM Basvaraj Bommai and Tamil Nadu politician Dr Anbumani Ramadoss were at the forefront of the political developments concerning the sector. Minister James Sangma played an active role in the ongoing political developments related to the new gaming legislation in Meghalaya.
Roland Landers and Rameesh Kailasam were at the forefront of policy advocacy with them often at the forefront to represent industry grievances. Jaydev Mody continued to be in the news with the announcement of a public offering by Delta subsidiary Adda52, an online multi-gaming portal.
The list proved to be an able guide to industry trackers and received accolades from who’s who of the industry. In this background, we are coming up with this list of ‘23 people to watch out for in the real money gaming industry in India in 2023’ to enable readers to provide a bird’s eye view of the sectoral developments and expectations in the last quarter of 2022 and the year 2023. The 2023 list is in no particular order and can be downloaded at the end of this article.
In this new list, Harsh Jain, Co-Founder & CEO, Dream11 & Dream Sports continues to be an influential name in the real money gaming sector. His company was last valued at a whopping $8 billion valuation.
Santiago Martin, also known as ‘Lottery King’ Martin, the owner of Future Gaming and Hotel Services (P) Ltd) also features in the latest list. He continues to exert his influence in the policy decisions related to the real money gaming sector.
Among the entrepreneurs, Manish and Bhavin Pandya, the executives of gaming firms Nazara and Games24x7 respectively feature in the list. WinZO Games co-founder Saumya Singh Rathore continues to be on the list considering the growth of the gaming platform and the number of high-profile litigations the firm is involved in.
Deepak Gullapalli of A23 who recently onboarded SRK as a brand ambassador, Navkiran Singh of Baazi Games, and Dilsher Malhi also find a place on the list. Shailendra Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital India features in the list considering his active investments in the gaming sector.
Politicians Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, MEITY Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin feature, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the list considering the developments at the Union level and in the States like Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Tamil Nadu has decided to promulgate an ordinance to ban real money games, a second time in less than two years.
Among the bureaucrats, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Government of Telangana has been included considering his active work in this space and his comments on working towards an enabling regulation in Telangana. Telangana is the first state to ban gaming for stakes in the year 2017 and was a key market for online rummy and other real money games.
Among the legal fraternity, Justice Chandrachud who will hold the post of Chief Justice of India (CJI) for a period of little over 2 years from November 2022 onwards is crucial as he will either hear or assign an appropriate bench for appeals against Karnataka High Court and Madras High Court judgments striking down state laws banning online games for stakes and a review petition challenging the green light given to Dream11 and daily fantasy sports. The outcome of the pending appeals by the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments will likely shape the gaming law jurisprudence in the country for the coming decades.
Senior Counsels Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mukul Rohatgi, C. Aryama Sundaraman, are expected to represent clients in the pending crucial cases before the Supreme Court in the coming year. Another important person from the legal industry is Joyjyoti Mishra, the legal head of Gameskraft which is embroiled in various litigations related to the valuation of supplies for GST payment which is expected to impact the entire sector.
Dr Subi Chaturvedi, a former member of the United Nations Internet Governance Forum MAG, as a distinguished strategic advisor, is expected to represent gaming sector interests before various forums in the coming years.
G2G 23 in 2023
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