Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an influential right-wing group in India, has called for limits on entry charges for players who indulge in real-money games. The rampant penetration of real-money online games after the pandemic has prompted regulators to examine ways to regulate the sunrise sector.
Several cases have been reported in recent times about suicides and theft, among other things prompted due to real money gaming addiction. According to the research firm Redseer, such online games could make up as much as 53% of a gaming market that is slated to reach $7 billion by 2026, or three times its size in the previous year.
In this background, the government has set up an inter-ministerial task force in May to study and recommend a regulatory framework for the sector. The seven-member inter-ministerial task force has members from the Niti Aayog, as well as secretaries of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Department of Revenue, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as the Meity secretary.
“Ticket size should be regulated. It should not be more than 50 rupees. This is an addiction,” said Ashwani Mahajan, an official of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch. “We will talk to all concerned ministries about this,” he told Reuters. Comments made by the influential right-wing group come after the reports of the task force having recommended a new regulatory body and deposit and withdrawal limits.
Talking about the earlier developments, a high-profile meeting was chaired by the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar with the founders of some prominent mobile gaming platforms including Nazara Technologies, Mobile Premier League (MPL), and Dream Sports in June.
The proposed law is also meant to chalk out requirements to classify games as skill or chance along with determining new gaming formats. The framework is rumoured to apply for esports, online fantasy sports, card games, and other casual games. The Indian companies will have to follow these rules, along with other companies which target Indian consumers.