Recently a money laundering scam worth Rs 290 crore was unearthed in Karnataka which raised questions about the lack of regulations on the sector.
Speaking on the issue, TORF CEO Sameer Barde said, “As per the information released by the Karnataka Police, it appears that this scandal used a variety of ruses to lure people including a Ponzi investment scheme, an online game, etc. There is some alleged Chinese connection as well.”
Terming the recent success of CID Karnataka, which busted a hawala and money laundry scam worth Rs 290 crore, as an example of effective and alert policing, The Online Rummy Federation (TORF), congratulated the Karnataka Police, particularly the Cybercrime division of the CID.
As per Barde, it highlights the necessity to effectively regulate the online skill gaming sector. “Because of low barriers of entry, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of operators offering online games. Some of these operators can be fraudulent ones. An effective regulatory structure and online gaming policy, will weed out the unscrupulous and irresponsible operators, while giving operator space to established players, that follow ethical and responsible gaming practices.”
Cautioning against a banning approach, Barde added that instead of making an effort to effectively regulate the sector, some state governments have banned online gaming, but that hasn’t helped the security of citizens. “A complete ban actually promotes the underground and illegal operators. We had this example last year, where a state government that had banned online gaming for last two-three years, unearthed a massive online money laundering scandal with Chinese connections, amounting to Rs 1200 crores.”
As CEO of TORF, Barde has been a consistent voice championing the need to regulate the online skill gaming industry. Citing the example of TORF’s Code of Conduct, that prescribes and enforces a range of measures for members to operate responsibly, ensuring customer security, Barde said, “Through age checks, SSL encrypted data protection, employing technology and artificial intelligence, TORF members are the forefront of ensuring responsible play. An effective regulatory policy is in the best interests of government, civil society as well as industry players.”
We hope the government of India takes this into account and enforces the regulations soon to avoid such occurrences in the future.