During the epidemic, online gaming has thrived. The average amount of time spent on online gaming has increased by about 65 percent from pre-Covid levels. Over 43 crore individuals have spent time playing virtual games. As a result, this industry in India has to be controlled. Furthermore, regulating online gambling would not only provide economic prospects, but will also address its social consequences.
- At the moment, internet gambling exists in a regulatory grey area, with no comprehensive regulation governing its legality.
- Skill-based games are permitted in the majority of the country, but games of chance are classified as gambling, are considered immoral, and are forbidden in the majority of the country. Because betting and gambling are a state matter, each state has its own set of laws. Gambling, betting, or wagering on games of chance is illegal in every state in India. Goa, Sikkim, and the UT of Daman are the only exceptions.
- Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana have also imposed restrictions on skill-based games.
Associated issues of online gaming
- Betting and gambling: Online games modelled on the traditional ludo, possibly India’s most popular online game, have sparked debate and accusations of betting and gambling.
- Data privacy risk: Inadvertently disclosing personal information might result in situations of cheating, privacy breaches, abuse, and bullying.
- Gaming addiction: Many individuals are becoming addicted to internet gaming. This is wrecking lives and wreaking havoc on families. Children’s compulsive gaming is harming their academic achievement as well as their social life and interactions with family members.
- Impact on psychological health: Following incidences of violence and suicide, online games such as PUBG and the Blue Whale Challenge were prohibited. This addiction is also thought to be creating nearsightedness in our children.
- With over 65.7 million users, this business is estimated to earn sales in excess of Rs 29,000 crore by 2025. More than 15,000 direct and indirect employment are expected to be generated.
- The potential for large worldwide investment — existing investments in game firms such as Dream11 are excellent signs.
- The GST and income tax revenue generated by this industry will contribute to the economic multiplier.
- Gaming businesses should educate consumers on potential hazards and how to spot potential scenarios of cheating and abuse. Participants’ anonymity should be abolished, and a comprehensive complaints management process should be established.
- The national government should establish a Gaming Authority. It could be in charge of the online gaming industry, monitoring its operations, preventing societal issues, classifying games of skill or chance appropriately, overseeing consumer protection, and combating illegality and crime.
- No in-game purchases should be permitted without parental agreement, and the in-game chat function should be blocked whenever feasible.
- Additionally, various types of self-regulation for the sector should be supported.
- Improving KYC standards
- Implement an age-rating process in which children are only permitted to progress with the approval of their parents — OTP verification on Aadhaar might address this.
How to structure:
- Give an intro about online gaming
- Give the need for regulating it
- Mention pros and cons of it
- Suggest way forward and Conclude