All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) to reinforce its self-regulation process has announced partnership with Arthur D. Little (ADL), the oldest and world-renowned international management consulting firm.
Currently, the online skill gaming industry follows a self-regulatory model which incorporates the necessary checks and balances to ensure sufficient responsible gaming and protection of players. With the exponential growth seen in the industry over the last three years, the need to strengthen the self-regulatory process was imperative. By adopting extensive compliance audits for its members with the help of ADL, the aim is to validate the games across parameters comprising user verification standards, player protection, responsible gaming practices, financial integrity, conflict redressal, advertising and promotions as well as legal and gaming compliances.
Talking about the partnership All India Gaming Federation CEO Roland Landers said, “AIGF is pleased to onboard Arthur D. Little as our Skills Games compliance partner. With the help of ADL’s expertise in understanding changing business ecosystems, we aim to support the overall online gaming industry of India. Moving forward, this exercise would help both the federation and the member stakeholders in laying down industry best practices and setting concrete foundations for the self-regulatory landscape. At the end of this exercise, the members of AIGF will receive a certificate (subject to compliance) which will be a proof of their compliance with AIGF’s self-regulatory skill gaming charter.”
The online skill gaming Industry has been consistently generating double-digit CAGR over the last three years. As per the EY-FICCI Report 2021, the online gaming segment grew by 18 per cent in 2020 to reach Rs77 billion, as online gamers increased by 20 per cent from 300 million in 2019 to 360 million in 2020, transaction-based game revenues increased by 21 per cent due to fantasy sports and casual gaming revenues increased by eight per cent, led by in-app purchases. It is estimated that the online gaming industry will continue to grow to double revenues to Rs 150 billion by 2023 and reach 500 million gamers by 2025 to become the third-largest segment of the Indian M&E sector.
Explaining the association, Arthur D. Little India and South Asia managing partner and CEO Barnik Chitran Maitra said, “By partnering with AIGF on instituting the Skills Games Charter, Arthur D. Little is excited to support the growth of skill-based online gaming from its present annual revenues of around USD One Billion to potentially USD eight to10 Billion of annual revenues by 2030 as India seeks to become a formidable global force in online gaming.”
There is a lack of legal uniformity because of the divergent views to the subject adopted by different states. Talking about the importance of self-regulation for the Online skill gaming industry in India, Landers further elaborated, “Now more than ever it has become imperative that the industry’s self-regulation practices should be recognised and endorsed by the relevant authorities so that it encourages additional investments leading to technological advancements as well as generation of increased revenue to the exchequer. AIGF and its advisory panel of domain experts will be happy to assist in playing a consultative role for the same. We sincerely believe that with the much needed support of the relevant policy makers across States and the Center, India can become an online gaming superpower, in the near future.”
Ideally, a centralised model that recognises the AIGF self-regulatory mechanism for online skill games will strengthen the overall process, ensure uniformity and stability in the Industry that will give a major boost to the entire ecosystem and its stakeholders.