The gaming industry has grown exponentially in recent years with the advent of online gaming platforms and mobile gaming applications. The sector has become a significant contributor to the Indian economy, generating substantial revenue and creating jobs. The government must recognize the potential of the gaming industry and adopt a suitable regulatory framework that ensures player protection while promoting a responsible and secure gaming environment.
One of the significant benefits of the gaming industry is its contribution to revenue generation. The industry grew at a staggering 27% CAGR in 2020, making it the fastest-growing segment within the Indian media and entertainment sector. The sector has also facilitated the establishment of over 400 start-ups and attracted more than 400 million gamers. As a result, it has created job opportunities for young Indians in the Esports and gaming businesses, which are viable alternatives in a world that are listening into a digital era.
Furthermore, a well-regulated gaming industry can also be an excellent source of tax revenue for the government. The gaming sector in India is primarily an unorganized and unregulated industry that is often left out of the tax net. The implementation of a regulatory framework would allow the government to tax lawful operators in the industry, resulting in significant tax revenues for the state. A well-regulated gaming industry would also be able to attract international investment, which would provide an additional boost to the economy.
However, the regulation of the gaming industry must be approached with caution. The FICCI Gaming Committee (FGC) has urged the government to adopt an enabling gaming policy to protect players while promoting a responsible and secure gaming environment. The FGC recommends that the government consider regulating the industry and adhering to strict protocols allowing only legitimate, legal operators to operate. This regulatory mechanism should also capture precise requirements that protect consumers and the operations of lawful operators.
Recognizing that a blanket ban on the gaming industry is not the solution to ensuring player protection is crucial. Instead, it would benefit unscrupulous fly-by-night operators and encourage illicit and underground gaming activities, leading to detrimental impacts on the populations the government seeks to protect. Therefore, the need of the hour is a stable regulatory mechanism that provides access to responsible entertainment choices while protecting players.
The gaming industry has significant potential to contribute to the Indian economy’s growth, generate revenue, and create jobs. The government must recognize the importance of the gaming industry and adopt a suitable regulatory framework that ensures player protection while promoting a responsible and secure gaming environment. The government should work with industry stakeholders to create a safe and well-regulated gaming industry that benefits all stakeholders, including the government, operators, players, and the Indian economy.