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Time To Bring Progressive Law To Regulate Games, Not Ban: FICCI

Amid the recent statement made by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M.K. Stalin to end online gaming in the state, the FICCI Gaming Committee (FGC), on Tuesday, urged the government to adopt an enabling gaming policy that will protect players while ensuring a secure and responsible gaming environment.

In February 2021, the state government amended the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930 to ban online games, however,  the Madras High Court struck down the law in August 2021, based on multiple Supreme Court decisions taken in the past. Reiterating the protection afforded under the constitution to games of skill. 

Arun Chawla, Director General, FICCI said, “While we appreciate the intent of the govt to protect the users, a wide-ranging ban seems excessive and disproportionate in meeting its objectives. It shall also severely impact these new technology-driven legitimate businesses that are generating much-needed jobs and revenues for the state.”

Sameer Barde, Convener FGC & CEO, E-Gaming Federation said, “Around 420 million players across the country enjoy online gaming as a form of entertainment. To ensure that these players’ experiences are safe, we request the government consider regulating this industry, which would allow only legitimate, legal operators to operate while adhering to strict protocols. At EGF, we have set up a self-regulatory framework in the form of a Code of Conduct ensuring a safe, transparent, and responsible environment for players by our certified members. We look forward to collaborating with the government and offering our expertise to help the state establish a well-regulated and sustainable industry.

“The growth of 27 per cent CAGR generated by the online skill gaming industry in 2020 has made it the fastest-growing segment within the Indian M&E sector. The sunrise online skill gaming industry is responsible for facilitating 400+ startups in this sector and attracted 400+ million gamers – young Indians providing them viable alternate job opportunities in Esports and other gaming businesses,” said Roland Landers, Convenor, FGC and CEO, All India Gaming Federation. 

Anwar Shirpurwala, Convener, FICCI Gaming Committee & CEO, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports said, “India has emerged as the largest Fantasy Sports market in the world with over 13 cr Indian sports fans using fantasy sports. Fantasy Sports is contributing significantly to the growth of the sports ecosystem in India and also helping Tamil Nadu’s sports fans meaningfully engage with their favourite sports. Our government’s premier think-tank NITI Aayog has recognised fantasy sports as a sunrise sector.”

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