TNOGA seeks to impose time limits on online and real money games

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The Tamil Nadu administration is preparing to introduce legislation that will impose time and usage limits on both online and real money games. This move aligns with the Centre’s ongoing efforts to regulate the gaming industry.

The initiative is being led by the Tamil Nadu Online Gaming Authority (TNOGA), a five-member regulatory body established in August 2023 to oversee all forms of online gaming in the state.

On May 27, TNOGA held meetings with senior government officials and gaming industry representatives. According to the meeting minutes, as reported in the Economic Times, the authority decided to regulate games uniformly, focusing on the time spent on gaming platforms to combat addiction.

“TNOGA believes that both children and adults need guidance on the appropriate amount of time spent on online gaming, whether it involves money or not,” a source said.

This initiative could serve as an example for other states addressing issues such as gaming addiction and depression. Although TNOGA acknowledged the central government’s role in setting guidelines, Tamil Nadu aims to enforce stricter rules within its jurisdiction.

“TNOGA recognizes the significant problem posed by illegal and offshore platforms but prioritizes regulating domestic companies, hoping to set a precedent for broader regulation,” the meeting note stated.

It was reported earlier that the IT ministry at the Centre is also considering imposing time and spending limits on online and real money games to address gaming addiction among children and young adults. Government officials believe that time and spending limits are more effective than certifying games as permissible or non-permissible through self-regulatory organizations (SROs).

TNOGA is building a resource and collecting information from companies to better understand the industry and the number of online gamers in the state. The authority has reached out to companies for details on game types, limits, and restrictions and is gathering data from other federations to compile comprehensive industry insights.

India’s gaming market is growing. According to Niko Partners, the video games market in Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) generated $85.5 billion in revenue in 2023. The gaming industry in these regions is projected to expand between 2024 and 2028, with India expected to be a growing market, followed by the MENA-3 region (Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Egypt) and Southeast Asia. India is projected to gain 277 million new gamers by 2028, making up 72% of the total gamer growth across Asia and the MENA region.