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Many people want online gambling restrictions: Poll

By November 21, 2022Online games

India’s Apex Court considered online fantasy sports a game of skill, but many members of the public believe otherwise, according to a new investigation by LocalCircles.

65% of survey participants said they explicitly believe online fantasy sports is a game of chance. Many of them have also urged the government to introduce online gambling loss limits due to the associated financial risks.

A whopping 91% of survey participants also said they wanted the government to ban unsolicited text messages sent by these gaming platforms.

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The survey results come at a time when the government is seeking to finalize an online gaming bill and the All India Gaming Federation expects India’s online mobile gaming sector to reach $5 billion. by 2025.

The growing penetration of smartphones and the internet, along with innovation in game design, gaming platforms, and digital technologies, have propelled the industry in recent years. The pandemic, which has forced many to turn to digital entertainment, has further helped the industry. AIGF sees the number of Indian online gamers soar to 450 million in 2023 from 390 million last year.

Unclear and risky

Many worry about the ambiguity and lack of regulation associated with online gambling.

Although gambling is listed squarely in the state list and is strictly prohibited in any form across the country, online gambling regulations lack clarity, especially when it comes to differentiating between a game of skill and a game of chance.

The Supreme Court and various high courts have held that fantasy sports is a game of skill while “with the exception of 11 states, others have banned online gambling with money or risk” , according to the LocalCircles report.

“Within the framework of fantasy games, it is very clearly established that they are games of skill. We hope that this clarity of position will also be reflected in future regulations of online skill games,” said Roland Landers, CEO of All India Gaming Federation.

Another key concern that emerged from the survey was limiting losses in online gaming and fantasy sports.

“As operators, we have always advised gamers to have gameplay suited to their life, economy, physical health and social demands,” said Ankur Singh, CEO and Founder of Witzeal Technologies.

However, people don’t always play it safe.

As a result, 54% of the survey participants want a loss limit of Rs 50 to Rs 500 per game for online and fantasy games.

A significant population in the survey believed that online and fantasy games should be seen as an avenue of entertainment and not a means of earning or supplementing a livelihood and taking undue risks.

Industry veterans looked at it differently.

“Where games of skill are already a protected commercial activity under Section 19(1)(g) of the Constitution, there is no reason to object to players using their skills to earn money and supplement their livelihoods,” Landers said.