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Ficci committee bats to promote responsible gaming environment

Ficci committee bats to promote responsible gaming environment

NEW DELHI: Responding to MK Stalin’s recent statements regarding the end of online gaming in Tamil Nadu, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) Gaming Committee (FGC) urged government to adopt a enabling gaming policy to protect gamers and create a safe and responsible gaming environment.

The Tamil Nadu government amended and banned the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930. In August 2021, the Madras High Court rescinded the law based on several Supreme Court decisions. These Supreme Court decisions reaffirm the constitutional protection for games of skill.

Ficci’s committee reiterated the fact that blanket bans are not designed to protect players. They instead benefit unscrupulous flyby-night operators, encourage illicit and underground gambling activities, and have negative impacts on the very population the government seeks protection for.

Instead, a stable regulatory framework that imposes clear requirements on lawful operators and consumers is the best solution. This new entertainment form should be regulated by the government to address several issues, including protecting players and allowing them to make responsible entertainment choices.

Arun Chawla is the director general of the Federation. He stated that while we understand the intention of the government to protect users, a broad ban seems excessively broad and disproportional in meeting its objectives. It will also adversely affect these legitimate, new-technology-driven businesses that generate much-needed jobs and revenue for the state.

Sameer Barde is the CEO of E-Gaming Federation, and a convenor to the committee. He said that approximately 420 million people use online gaming as a form entertainment. “To ensure these players’ experiences are safe, the government should consider regulating this sector. This would allow only legal, legitimate operators to operate while adhering strict protocols,” he stated.

“EGF has established a self-regulatory framework through a Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct ensures a safe, transparent and responsible environment for all players. It is a result of the cooperation of our certified members. We look forward working with the government to offer our expertise in order to help the state establish an industry that is well-regulated.

The committee noted that the online skill-gaming industry has seen a 27% increase in CAGR between 2020 and 2021, making it the fastest growing segment of the Indian M&E sector. The sector’s sunrise online skill gaming industry has helped to facilitate 400+ start-ups. It also attracted 400+ million gamers, young Indians looking for viable alternatives to their jobs in Esports or other gaming businesses.

RedSeer’s research firm stated that India’s gaming industry will reach $7 billion by FY2026.

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