Reports: Majority of people believe online gaming involves betting, gambling

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According to a survey released on Monday by the online platform LocalCircles, most consumers see fantasy sports as online gambling involving wagering, betting, and gambling. 91% of participants in a LocalCircles study on online gaming said they would like to see annoying SMS messages that advertise online and fantasy games banned.

The report stated, “While the Supreme Court has upheld its position and the position of the Punjab High Court in 2017 and ruled that fantasy sports are a game of skill, the public view continues to differ.”

On being asked, “should online fantasy sports be considered as online gaming that involves wagering, betting and gambling” two out of three people, most the time, the answer was “yes.”

The report also said, “In effect, for 65 per cent, out of 9,507 respondents, online fantasy sports is akin to gambling, wagering or a game of chance with risks in contrast to the position of the Supreme Court.”

The number of replies varied from question to question, according to LocalCircles, but the overall survey gathered more than 33,000 responses from people in 322 districts across India. In the survey, men made up around 68% of the participants, while the rest were women.

The majority of 11,994 respondents, which was about 91%, want to see a comprehensive prohibition on spam communications issued by “fantasy game platforms asking people to create a team for a fee and earn money without warnings.”

If the state governments fail to ban online and fantasy gambling, almost 54% of the 12,602 respondents felt that there should be a cap on losses in the range of Rs 50–500 per game instead.

Some players compared these games to state lotteries during the late 1980s and early 1990s, where many players often lost money, but a small number of players claimed they were games of skill based on probability theory.

According to a KPMG report, there would be 65.7 crore online gamers in India by FY25, up from 43.3 crore in FY21. Casual gamers contributed Rs 6,020 crore to the Rs 13,600 crore income of the online gaming sector in FY21.

By FY25, KPMG projects that the Indian online gaming market will generate Rs 29,000 crore in revenue, with Rs 16,900 crore coming from casual players.

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