Home Business Online Gaming Firms Urge Govt To Set Clear Code Of Conduct For Sector | Arabian Weekly

Online Gaming Firms Urge Govt To Set Clear Code Of Conduct For Sector | Arabian Weekly

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Online Gaming Firms Urge Govt To Set Clear Code Of Conduct For Sector | Arabian Weekly

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NEW DELHI: Nine months after the government notified new gaming rules, companies such as Dream Sports, Games 24×7, as well as industry associations, are seeking clarity on a code of conduct for the sector. The manner in which the notified rules will be implemented, a framework for responsible gaming and player protection, architecture on checking financial frauds, gaming certification, are some of the areas on which the industry needs a clear roadmap.

The need for such a roadmap is felt because the government has mandated self-regulatory organisation (SROs) like structure to certify what is a permissible online real money game. The online gaming rules have left some key frameworks to SROs, with regard to defining the content of an online game in a view to safeguard users against harm, for safeguarding children, and other measures against financial frauds risk. However, the government is yet to notify SROs.

Among other things, the industry has also sought a Sebi-like regulator to regulate the online gaming sector.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) along with All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and E-gaming federation issued a voluntary code of ethics for online gaming intermediaries.

The companies, affirming to the code, will have to ensure responsible gaming measures such as publishing safety guidelines on websites, monitor player behaviour where necessary, age restrictions for minors that is those 18 years or above can only sign for real money formats, responsible advertising to not mislead users, fairness in terms that players are not made to play real money games with bots, among other things.

“We have been following our own standards with regard to player protection. Once the guidelines come in for player protection, it will be easier to put a set standard for operators as well to standardise player protection,” Bhavit Sheth, chief operating officer and co-founder of Dream Sports, said at the Indian Gaming Convention convened by IAMAI on Tuesday.

According to Sheth, a set standard and regulation is needed to understand what kind of expectations the government has with regard to player protection from companies and ensure there are no varying interpretations.

Trivikraman Thampy, co-founder & co-CEO of Games24x7 echoed Sheth’s views on the need for a code of conduct with regard to responsible gaming. “If you’re a startup and coming up with some creative ideas to build great games, you cannot spend months trying to figure out what is the right responsible gaming practises to put in. This is where a regulator can add a lot of value,” Thampy said.

With regard to preventing money laundering practises in the gaming, the stakeholders have asked for a permissible certification structure as to what needs to be done at every stage of financial transactions between an operator and a player. The companies said they have started doing full KYC of consumers before onboarding them into the system.

“For any set of policies to be implementable, there is a need for operational rules, redressal mechanisms, institutional authorities, to be identified,” said Anuraag Saxena, chief executive officer of E-gaming federation. The federation represents companies such as Junglee Games, Games 24×7, head digital works, among others.

“It is in the interest of companies and the country to actually have very transparent standards that the industry can adhere to,” Saxena added.

One of the key requirements to get started with the implementation of gaming rules, is the notification of SROs. The government has received about four proposals from the industry but is yet to take a call on that. Lately, it has formed a group of ministers to take a call on the matter and notify the framework.

“Self regulation structure or any kind of regulatory structure is the need of the hour. It does not matter whether the regulation comes from the government or industry,” an executive at a gaming firm said.

“Fast-paced industries have followed a self-regulation approach and it is a great balance between speed of decision making, speed of ensuring safety and a very fast way of ensuring the interests of the consumers and players. We’ll have to wait till the government clarifies its view on which way it wants to shape or form this,” Saxena said.

According to EY’s report titled ‘New Frontiers: Navigating the Evolving Landscape for Online Gaming in India’, the online gaming market grew at a 28% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from FY 2020-2023 to Rs 16,428 crore. The industry is projected to maintain a 15% CAGR till FY28.

However, the real money gaming segment, which accounted for 84% of the online gaming market share, in FY23, might see its share decreasing to 75.4% by FY28, due to the recent GST (goods and services tax) changes.

The report estimated the real money gaming segment to generate Rs 6,500-6,800 crore in direct taxes and Rs 75,000-76,000 crore in indirect taxes (GST) for the exchequer during FY 2024-28.

Source: The Financial Express

The post Online Gaming Firms Urge Govt To Set Clear Code Of Conduct For Sector first appeared on Latest India news, analysis and reports on IPA Newspack.

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