Gaming Firms Pursue a Distinction From Gambling To Refrain From Bans

Online games such as rummy, poker, and fantasy sports have seen various developments about the policy scenario.  National Institution for Transforming India) NITI Aayog is pursuing public comments concerning the guidelines required for regulating fantasy sports. A few states have already started to ban some activities.

Recently, NITI Aayog recommended setting up a single self-regulatory body concerning online fantasy sports (OFS). Gambling rules are still a state subject and have legal consequences. Industry experts think that bans on games involving real money like poker, and rummy could impact the entire industry.

Stakeholders within the video game industry believe that laws and regulations concerning gambling should refrain from using the word ‘gaming’ because the video game industry is quite different in comparison to gambling games that are illegal in India.

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Mostly controversy concerning gaming and online gambling arises due to lack of national-level regulation. Currently, each state can make a decision voluntarily about what will be counted as online gambling and then decide whether to ban it or not — like how Tamil Nadu banned poker and rummy but not fantasy sports.

Industry experts believe that the Centre needs to clarify how the ‘gaming’ sector needs to be regulated. These days, these days operate via the internet increasingly and are regulated by the Centre. As it is difficult to handle the internet at a state level with various inter-state commerce and trade aspects involved, it would be ideal to have comprehensive guidelines or framework issued by the central government.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at bhavana.pn@cleartax.in

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