India’s gaming industry set for meteoric growth, says Grant Thornton and EGF report

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A recent report has revealed that the country now has 442 million online gamers, making it the second-largest gaming market worldwide, behind China. Published jointly by Thornton Bharat and the E-Gaming Federation, the report titled ‘Guardians of Safe Play: Ethical Gaming for Vibrant Bharat’ highlights the industry’s trajectory, projecting a 20% growth to reach Rs 253 billion by FY25.

Central to the report’s findings is real money gaming (RMG), which has become a key revenue driver within the sector. Despite challenges such as the government’s imposition of a 28% GST in 2023, investor sentiment remains positive, lifted by strategic investments like SBI Mutual Fund’s Rs 410 crore infusion into digital gaming and The Kamath Brothers’ Rs 100 crore backing of Nazara Technologies.

Foreign investments have also played a crucial role, with South Korean gaming giant Krafton Inc. committing $150 million to Indian startups over the next few years. Krafton has already injected $140 million into prominent Indian gaming and content ventures like Nodwin Gaming, Pratilipi, Kuku FM, and Loco.

The report advocates for stringent self-regulation and a robust code of conduct to sustain the industry’s growth momentum. Highlighting the importance of player protection and consumer rights, it calls for regulatory frameworks that mitigate risks such as cyber threats and financial fraud. Moreover, it distinguishes between games of skill and games of chance, navigating legislative milestones like the Public Gambling Act and the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code.

Anuraag Saxena, CEO of the E-Gaming Federation, emphasized the critical role of trust and responsibility in encouraging industry growth. “Trust is the cornerstone of our industry,” Saxena remarked. “As India’s gaming sector continues to expand, prioritizing player safety and ethical practices is paramount. Our self-regulatory standards, encapsulated in the Code of Conduct, aim to strike a balance between innovation, consumer protection, and national interests.”

With India expected to see significant growth in its gaming landscape, supported by investments, strategic partnerships, and regulatory clarity, the future looks positive for stakeholders across the spectrum. As the industry explores new developments, stakeholders are hopeful that these changes will help India become a leader in global gaming innovation and sustainability.