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It’s time for India to set up a regulatory body for online gambling: law experts

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It’s time for India to set up regulatory body for online gambling: law experts

 

With the advent of the Internet, more and more of our daily activities can now be done online—from banking to working and studying, and even Online Cricket Betting ID Casual entertainment and gaming too have gone digital.

India’s online gambling market is steadily growing, even amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a drastic shift in consumption patterns among consumers around the world, as a growing number of people start ditching the physical world of goods in favor of digital environments where they can spend time while they’re in the comfort and safety of their homes. In India, there has been a “shift in netizens’ online behaviour and search preferences,” according to the InMobi report on the Indian market’s search trends.

The report also noted that casual online games with real money gaming components are one of the fastest growing segments in India, with 52 percent increase in related searches. Online gambling sites have seen a dramatic increase in new visitors this year, as more consumers start using the digital versions of their favorite form of entertainment—be it card games and random number games to online roulette and lottery.

With a population of 1.36 billion, India has a huge market for gambling. An ENV Media report on India’s richest cities and larges online gambling communities noted the potential for the local online gambling market to grow even further as consumers are provided better options where they can get their best online casino in India experience, thanks to improved internet penetration and the rise in mobile device usage.

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“Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad lead the way. To a relative extent, Pune, Ahmedabad and Surat also contribute to a better online gambling penetration in India,” according to the report.

Here’s why regulatory body for online gambling is needed

As digital content consumption grows, so is the need for the government to police the thriving sector. In the case of online gambling. The current response of state governments to regulate the industry by prohibiting online gaming activities are proven to be not only unconstitutional, but they also do not work.

What India needs is a regulatory body that will oversee the online gambling industry and its many verticals. Anand and Anand partner K Premchandar and associate Shrivatsav N recently made a case for why “judicious regulations” are needed for the gaming market. In an editorial for India Business Law Journal, the law experts said, “A regulatory body can be established that can certify the nature of Cricket ID games and impose respective regulations in protecting the interests of the end user.”

 “There is no specific central legislation governing the issue of online gambling. Therefore, the need of the hour is to enact legislation to protect the interests of the industry and the end user in a thoughtful manner. Judicious regulations can boost the industry in which even a game of chance, if regulated properly, can be considered as a game of entertainment,” they wrote.

The two made an important point: the online gambling market is unrestricted by territory. As noted by data from the ENV Media report above, different states have different levels of online gambling penetration, but they are all connected by the online games, which they can play with and against each other wherever they are—at least in theory.

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This is why uniform regulation is crucial for all states across the country. Rather than leaving each state to come up with their interpretation of the outdated Public Gaming Act, the government needs to set up a single regulatory body that can take a look at how other jurisdictions are effectively overseeing the industry and come up with a set of laws that will work best with the rapidly evolving India online gambling market.

Having a single regulatory body brings many advantages, according to the law experts, including a check-and-balance system between government officials and industry stakeholders. “As an authority constituted under a statute, it will always be open to the public to challenge the certification decision, and the rules and guidelines of the authority. Such an exercise will enable a system of transparency and accountability, both on the side of the service provider and on the side of the public,” they wrote.