Gambling EXPERTS pinpoints the new Indian gaming bill’s pitfalls

India saw a surge in online gaming activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, something that shone new light on the outdated laws that revolve around real money gambling and gaming.

studio18 June 07, 2022 14:26:12 IST
Gambling EXPERTS pinpoints the new Indian gaming bill’s pitfalls

A new gaming bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha on the 1st of April, which gives India an opportunity to leave its 155-year-old gambling law behind.

However, The Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, 2022, is far from flawless, something that the gambling experts over at ENV Media have been quick to point out in a recent article.

One of the aspects of the bill that’s important to keep in mind is that it attempts to place real money gaming and real money gambling under the same bill. 

It’s clear that M.P. Dean Kuriakose, who introduced the bill, could use the help of people experienced with regulated markets to gain a better understanding of how vastly different a game with real money features is from a game entirely based on real money activity.

As Felicia Wijkander, Editor in Chief at ENV Media, states in her article: “In short, an online casino shouldn’t be regulated in the same way as, for example, a gaming platform offering a first-person shooter game with optional real money features. These games are widely different, and trying to fit them under one umbrella is a recipe for disaster.”

It’s also important to note that this bill wishes to criminalize the use of unlicensed platforms, meaning that a player can be fined for utilizing them. 

Successful regulated markets tend to work towards restricting access to unregulated operators while limiting fines to local licensed actors who breach the law rather than punishing the users. 

As, if there is a good, regulated, and safe product, players will opt to use that one over illegal ones.

That said, the bill is a great step in the right direction, showing all the things India has to gain from online regulation.

What India needs to learn about regulated online gambling

Several countries in the world have already regulated online gambling, giving India the opportunity of picking the cherries from each regulatory market to create its own optimal framework.

No online gambling regulation is perfect. 

Even experienced markets like Sweden and the UK struggle with finding a good regulatory balance that will benefit the country and its inhabitants equally.

At the same time, the gambling regulation in Sweden consists of sections that specify the obligations licensees have when it comes to responsible gambling, data protection, and marketing. 

Obligations that the introduced Gaming (Regulation) Bill of 2022 has failed to include.

It’s important to understand that online gambling regulation is a better way to keep people’s gambling habits under control than a blanket ban. Regulation brings the funding necessary to tackle issues like organized crime.

The need to clean out irresponsible actors

In an unregulated, banned market, irresponsible actors and criminals are given better opportunities to take advantage of their victims. 

Contrary to what conservative politicians might think, banning online gambling won’t eradicate online gambling. It will only move the activity out of sight. 

While Indian players can play at foreign gambling sites and trust that they follow regulatory requirements, Indian players are simultaneously exposed to fraudulent websites.

An online gambling regulation will allow legitimate actors to take place on the market instead. 

Authentic operators will only use secure payment methods and licensed game providers, and will follow stringent verification processes to eliminate fraudulent activity within the online gambling sector.

The regulatory perks India has to look forward to

The list of perks that come with regulating gambling is long, but these are the most prominent areas that will benefit from an online gambling regulation:

  • Responsible gambling tools & processes
  • Stringent marketing guidelines
  • Underage gambling prevention
  • Anti-Money Laundering processes
  • Guaranteed fairness
  • Taxation
  • Social responsibility
  • Player Rights

And in addition to this, India will see new job opportunities within several sectors as more people will relocate to or within India, similarly to the influx of job opportunities created by regulated gambling in Goa.

At the end of the day, regulation is better for the people of India

Gambling regulation is a tool for governments to ensure that their people only have access to safe means of gambling. 

And not only that, but regulation also makes sure that those offering the gambling products are being respectful of the market in which they act. 

This is ensured by taxation and licensing fees, funds that go back into India’s economy instead of disappearing into the pockets of offshore foreign companies as they do today.


This is a partnered post. 

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