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India Plans to Regulate All Real-Money Online Games: What Does this Entail?

Rate this Article The Indian Government is planning to regulate all real-money online games, including “games of skill” and “games of chance.” What does this entail? Tough Games - India Plans to Regulate All Real-Money Online Games: What Does this Entail?

According to report by Reuters, the Indian government plans to regulate all online games involving real money, and efforts are currently underway to get it done. This is after the prime minister, Narendra Modi, overruled a proposal only to regulate games of skill and leave out games of chance, preferring a broader oversight.

The planned regulations will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of India's burgeoning online gaming industry, which is projected to reap $7 billion by 2026. Moreover, these will help the government earn a massive chunk of change while addressing gambling-related issues.

If you're an avid gamer or a regular at some of the top online casinos in India, what does this entail? Will this affect your access to your favorite games and casinos?

Will this affect online games?

Terminologies are a tad confusing because "online gaming" is used for both online games like MMORPGs and MOBAs, and internet casinos. The wording says explicitly "all real-money games," which leads us to believe that games for leisure (AKA non-casino experiences) might face federal oversight.

However, this might be on a lesser basis, considering the focus will be on specific games you would consider to be inside a casino. However, gacha games and those that use loot boxes might receive a closer look. After all, an official mentioned, "online gaming may be considered as one activity or service with no distinction." In any case, it will pay to be prepared for the possibility of getting regular games, not just with loot boxes, into the mix simply because of the wording.

Games of skill vs. games of chance

Poker is considered as a "game of skill" in India

There's also the issue of defining games. Generally, gambling is banned in India, so experiences like slot machines and roulette are banned. Poker and rummy aren't covered because they are considered "skill-based" games. There is a distinct lack of legal clarity in classifying these; in some cases, there were even contrasting decisions in state courts. On a positive note, the regulations may finally decide on the status of these games to eliminate all uncertainty.

Government panel's suggested rules and recommendations

The drafting of these new regulations aims to curb addiction since there are growing concerns that the proliferation of these games has led to financial losses, especially for the younger population.

Recommendations will include "de-addiction" measures. These will consist of advisories and periodic warnings, along with fixing deposit and withdrawal limits. In turn, this will help curb occasions where players might gamble beyond their means.

How will this affect the Indian online gaming scene in the long run?

There is little doubt that these regulations may bring tidal waves in the online Indian gaming industry. Tech startups in India, like Dream11 and Mobile Premiere League, may have to rethink their work and make adjustments to what they offer.

It remains to be seen how the regulations will pan out and to what extent online games will be affected. Regardless, we hope things will go well and that we'll still get to enjoy many of our favorite games, may it be poker or online gacha games.

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