Written by Ratnakar Sethi
Imposing a ‘prohibition’ and imposing a ‘rule’ on an activity often meets very distinct consequences. A prohibition, more likely than not, is more likely to be harmful than a blessing because coercive measures are more likely to produce negative results over time. Society is told that it operates within what public policy experts have defined as a ‘critical range’ – the range within which society operates in terms of relevant legality. ‘Absolute’ restrictions trigger people to behave in a way that violates the rules for establishing that critical range. Often, people are tempted to do what is forbidden.
There has been considerable debate over the social impact of online gaming, backed by questions of its legal credibility. Now is the time to differentiate between what is considered good, bad, and ugly, and to deal with the confusion, prohibitions, and myths surrounding the online gaming industry that are misunderstood as proponents of gambling. It is important to distinguish between online gaming and online gambling, the former being a skill game and the latter a game of chance. The foundation of science and knowledge is the game of skill, where the outcome of victory or defeat is determined exclusively by practice and awareness of the game. In addition to the financial gain of the participants, there is an inherent value in sharpening cognitive skills in the participation process. In contrast, the results obtained from the game of chance are not determined by any kind of statistical analysis, but the tendency towards addiction depends only on trial and error. Another notable aspect is that in addition to attracting high FDI and ensuring high revenue in the treasury, online gaming platforms create employment opportunities for technology specialists, which has a strong impact on the growth of the animation, visual effects, gaming and comics sectors.
There has been a lot of controversy about addiction and financial loss as an extreme effect of online gaming. However, one has to admit that the benefits from online gaming outweigh the inconsistencies (which stands as an exception to the larger spectrum of events). In addition, to say the least, there is an urgent need for the center to identify and fine the actual sites where people engage in gambling or gambling. In fact, offshore gambling sites have been abused for money laundering. Unexpected ‘ugly’, therefore, calls for a regulatory system defined by progressive policy to monitor and control any possibility of harm. This will in turn strengthen the position of online gaming as a mode of entertainment aimed at creating value in the technological space and adding prominence to ‘Digital India’ on the world stage.
As there is no defining law governing online gaming, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has stated that online gaming platforms must comply with the requirements of the IT Rules 2021. The new Digital India Act is expected to replace the country’s IT Act of 2000. The latter established a basic legal framework for dealing with cybercrime and e-commerce participants, defining a code of conduct as well as penalties for its violation. Clearly, this was done at a time when most of today’s cyberspace challenges are unimaginable, and it is no longer appropriate to continue managing the online state.
Undoubtedly, India is one of the fastest growing online gaming markets in the world. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the legal aspects of the sector, there is much to appreciate here about how the industry has evolved over the ages and reflects the best of both Digital India and Make-in-India. Sincerely, the Prime Minister acknowledged the potential for growth in this sector and called for more India-made games. Speaking in favor of gaming, the finance minister said an inclusive approach to online gaming সংশ an amendment to the IT Act 200 সাহায্য would help the sunrise industry improve with new laws and regulatory structures that would enable it to build on the good, reduce the bad and eliminate the ugly.
A central law covering the aforesaid aspects is crucial for the future of India’s online skills gaming industry A clean and well-regulated system will pave the way for FDI growth. This will not only encourage the sector, but also increase transparency in Indian law and accountability of operators. This will allow customers to enjoy gaming in a responsible, transparent and secure environment that is regulated by regulations. In fact, in order for online gaming to thrive in a healthy operating space, states can take action against illegal betting websites in support of the gaming industry. Also, if consumer-interest groups are involved in anti-gambling efforts, it will spread awareness and provide a forum for reporting and condemning illegal platforms. A thorough classification of different types of online games can enable goal-setting by factoring in any risk involved. Such a rigid structure in the form of a revised IT law would be effective in separating skill-based games from gambling.
Became the author Member, Advisory Council, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports