Exploratory talks at an All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) panel discussion looked at the future of regulating online gaming and the steps the country can take to liberalise the market.
The central theme of the meeting was to plot a navigable regulatory course for the government of the seventh biggest country in the world, what that would look like, and how to ensure the advantages of regulation are fairly distributed.
What Proposals Were Put Forward For A Framework?
The discussions included inputs from Sunil Abraham, the Public Policy Director of Meta, Sarika Aggarwal Synrem, Commissioner and Secretary of the Government of Meghalaya, and Dr. Subi Chaturvedi, the Chief of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy at InMobi. The meeting was chaired by Gowree Gokhale, a partner of Nishit Desai Associates.
The most pressing debates revolved around implementing any framework and how that would look.
Dr. Subi Chaturvedi was at pains to suggest any regulations must look to a layered and considered approach: “My pain point is when we look at gaming, we’re always looking at the stick first and then the carrots.”
“I know there will always be bad actors. We tend to treat regulation as an afterthought, or it is done to create a framework so that you don’t colour outside the lines. The state should see this as a sunrise sector, incentivise the presence of innovators.”
Why Conversations About Legislation Show Movement Towards Regulation
The fact these conversations are even taking place in India should be a pointer to the seismic shift in public and political opinion surrounding online gambling in India.
Sarika Aggarwal Synrem believes the actions of the Government of Meghalaya prove there is a positive and vibrant future for the industry in India:
“We thought it prudent to regulate rather than totally prohibit so that we give space to all the stakeholders with good intentions to come together and grow together and at the same time act against the dubious players who are taking our people for a ride.”
Some of the measures Ms Synrem suggest as paths forward include:
Establish Gaming Commission
The best online casinos are already using the most advanced practices in mediation between players and operators, but creating a national organisation is a crucial first step in India, according to Synrem. “We need to have a body which can look at speedy redressal of disputes without government intervention. They will be giving us policy directions on how we need to move about in the sector.”
Keeping Regulations Light Touch
Ms Synrem believes it is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure all online gambling laws are followed. However, certain conditions must be met for a gambling company to set up in India. “No gaming premises can come up within the vicinity (100 metres) of educational and worship institutions, keeping the interest of the local population in mind,” she confirmed.
Create An Online Casino Roadmap
A timeline is important for investor confidence and industry leaders within India – in an unregulated sphere, it is critical to ensure the processes are clear and understandable.
Ms Synrem also confirmed fees for licenses would be low and valid for six months.
India has a huge online betting scene where thousands engage in online roulette, teen patti real cash, live blackjack, and sports betting every day. The underlying need for regulatory requirements in the country revolves around keeping bettors safe. The increasing conversations around Indian betting regulation suggest a groundswell in support.
A Cricket Blogger | Blogs at Cricindeed.com