Congress senior leader, Dr Shashi Tharoor has introduced a private bill in Lok Sabha to monitor Online Gaming. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, wants a regulatory mechanism for the unorganised online gaming sector, which has seen massive traffic in the last couple of years.
As an eminent gamer myself, I feel this is the right move going forward as India needs a regulatory body to supervise the flow of money and illegal activities. In the last couple of years, fantasy sports have also made a place of its own among the Indian population. Various new users are coming forward to join the new platforms like MyTeam11 and Funtush11, to practice their sporting skill and earn money. In a country like India with more than 500 Million internet users in the country, the fantasy market spread like fire. Initially, 80% of the mobile gaming population comprising 18- to 35-year-olds, which is generally why more and more new users join such platforms for the bragging rights.
Newzoo, a gaming data forecast company said in 2018, “There are more than 2.3 Bn active gamers in the world this year, of which 46%, or 1.1 Bn, spend money on games. The games market will reach $137.9 Bn in 2018, with digital revenues accounting for 91% of the market, or $125.3 Bn. For the first time, mobile gaming will contribute more than half of all revenues, with smartphone and tablet gaming growing +25.5% year on year to $70.3 Bn.”
“Online gaming industry in India is presently estimated to be worth over $360 Million. We are fortunate enough to a part of this revolution and this booming industry. We support this move to form a regulatory body which will not only supervise the sports leagues and the development of the sports ecosystem(online gaming) but will also neutralize the effect of trickery and attempted forgery.” said, Lalit Goel, Co-founder Funtush11.
Paytm-Alibaba and Tencent are actively exploring India, knowing the huge potential of the country’s gaming market. Startups like Smaaash used Sachin Tendulkar to promote their virtual reality gaming and entertainment company. Tencent-backed fantasy gaming company Dream11 made MS Dhoni as their brand ambassador which was a masterstroke as he is hailed to have one of the best cricketing minds in the world. Funtush11 is another genuine website which has transformed the way daily fantasy sports is played.
This is definitely a positive initiative which will reap us huge rewards heading in future. We will get more exciting rewards for our sporting knowledge under the eye of government, without the indulgence of the outside world. The main reason behind this move is the gambling games involving the prediction of the results of a sporting event and placing a bet on the outcome, in part or in whole, by means of a telecommunication device. As fantasy gaming is in relation to an actual sporting event, it will also be covered under this bill. Platforms like Dream11, Funtush11 and MyTeam11 are genuine fantasy sports websites that are currently running in India.
One of the key prospects in the Bill is that no person can operate an Online Gaming Server or an Online Gaming Website without a license. The regulation of online sports gaming may encourage investment in the sector, which in turn can lead to technological advancements as well as revenue and employment generation.
According to a Google KPMG study, India will witness more than 190 Mn gamers by 2022 which will generate $1.3 Billions revenue. The scenario is changing in India due to internet access in rural areas. This Sports Bill will nullify the criminal activities on such platforms. We can expect this bill to get passed in the House at its earliest, due to the rapid growth of the gaming industry in India.