Reacting to the recent statement made by the Tamil Nadu about bringing an end to online gaming in the state, the FICCI Gaming Committee (FGC) urges the government to adopt an enabling gaming policy protecting players while ensuring a secure, and responsible gaming environment.
In February 2021, the state government amended the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930, banning online games subsequently the Madras High Court struck down the law in August 2021 basis multiple Supreme Court decisions taken in the past. Reiterating the protection afforded under the constitution to games of skill.
The FICCI Gaming Committee is committed to supporting the government in establishing a safe gaming environment. However, we would like to reiterate that blanket bans do not ensure player protection but instead, benefits unscrupulous fly-by-night operators and encourages illicit and underground gaming activities leading to detrimental impacts on the very populations the government seeks to protect.
FICCI Gaming Committee believes that the need of the hour is a stable regulatory mechanism capturing clear requirements that protects consumers and operations of lawful operators. The government should consider regulating this new form of entertainment thereby addressing several issues – most importantly protecting players by providing access to responsible entertainment choices.
FICCI director general Arun Chawla said, “While we appreciate the intent of the govt to protect the users, a wide-ranging ban seems excessive and disproportionate in meeting its objectives. It shall also severely impact these new technology-driven legitimate businesses that are generating much need jobs and revenues for the state.”
FICCI Gaming Committee Convener and All India Gaming Federation CEO Roland Landers said, “The growth of 27 per cent CAGR generated by the online skill gaming industry in 2020 has made it the fastest-growing segment within the Indian M&E sector. The sunrise online skill gaming industry is responsible for facilitating 400+ Start-ups in this sector and attracted 400+ million gamers – young Indians providing them viable alternate job opportunities in Esports and other gaming businesses. All AIGF stakeholders are governed by the skill games charter that ensure global best practices across responsible gaming and gamer protection. It is in the best interests of all concerned that the State Govt works with the skill gaming industry to build a robust regulatory framework to ensure all stakeholders across the ecosystem benefit economically and socially notably taxation revenues gaming and allowance for Indian registered gaming companies to operate in the state.”