The Indian gaming industry has been growing at a rapid pace and is projected to reach $50 billion by 2020. In this article, we will look at the regulatory landscape and investment outlook of India’s skill gaming industry.
Emerging Trends in The Gaming Industry
- The gaming industry is growing rapidly, and it’s expected to be worth USD 200 billion by 2025.
- India has a small but fast-growing market for skill games (like fantasy, rummy, poker etc.), which could see a CAGR of 30% over the next few years.
RMG Industry – An Overview
Remuneration-based gaming (RMG) is a form of online gaming that rewards players for playing games and completing tasks. Players are paid out in cash or tokens, which can be redeemed as prizes or exchanged for other goods and services.
The RMG industry has grown rapidly over the past few years and now accounts for around 20% of total global revenues. It represents an attractive opportunity for investors because it offers high returns on investment due to its strong growth potential, coupled with low regulatory risk due to its regulation under the Indian government’s jurisdiction only at present time (but this may change soon).
The Regulatory Regime – A Brief Gist
While the regulatory regime in India has been evolving, it is slowly becoming more consistent and clear.
The Indian government has been trying to regulate the gaming industry since 2010, but with limited success. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a notification on June 19th 2018 which outlines how companies should report any incidents related to money laundering or other illegal activities associated with mobile games and app stores. This should help increase transparency among operators who will now be required by law to disclose all information relating to their business practices when dealing with money laundering concerns or suspicious transactions during operation hours (which includes weekends).
FDI In The Gaming Sector
In the gaming app, foreign direct investment (FDI) is allowed under the automatic route and under the approval route.
The government has not issued any policy statement regarding FDI in this sector yet. However, it has made it clear that no country may make discriminatory treatment towards any other country or state within its territory on account of race, religion, caste or sex etc., while deciding whether to allow or disallow such investments.
Amendments to FDI Policy Related to the Gaming Sector
The gaming sector has been one of the most attractive investment destinations for foreign investors since its inception. However, it faced significant challenges in terms of regulatory framework and policy due to which there was no clear direction from the government regarding how it would be regulated.
In July 2018, the Union Cabinet approved amendments to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy related to the gaming industry along with new rules that allow 100% FDI under the automatic route without prior approval from RBI or SEBI. The amendment will come into effect from November 1st 2018 . It also provides for relaxation in terms of time period for filing returns by foreign investors after obtaining approval from SEBI/RBI within 90 days instead of 180 days previously stipulated under current laws which were applicable only till 31st October 2017; This relaxation has been made possible because RBI gave an extension on implementation date till 31st December 2017 itself because they were not satisfied with some aspects related especially when it comes down to KYC requirements being fulfilled by these companies as well as their compliance level with other norms like payment security measures etcetera…
The legal Challenges Faced by Players in the Sector
The legal challenges faced by players in the sector
The legal challenges faced by players in the sector are many and varied. For example, there is currently no clear framework governing how gambling should be regulated across different jurisdictions around the world. In addition to this, there is no global standard for verifying identity or age verification of buyers/users as well as for ensuring compliance with regulations such as those that govern gambling advertising rules or gaming licensing requirements.
The Government’s attempt at promoting skill games or Real Money Gaming as compared to traditional gambling games is laudable.
As we mentioned earlier, the government has been trying to promote skill games like Ludo, fantasy, carrom, rummy, etc. as compared to traditional gambling games. The aim is to not only bring in more revenue for both businesses and the country’s economy but also help people to enjoy with their friends.
However, one of the biggest challenges that developers face is how they can differentiate themselves from their competitors in an industry dominated by giants like Google or Facebook who have significant reach and resources at their disposal.
The government’s positive decision to introduce skill gaming as an alternative for traditional gambling is a step in the right direction. It also gives players the opportunity to play against one another without having to risk their money. The Player Welfare Fund, which was introduced earlier this year, is another initiative that aims at protecting players from fraudsters while also providing them with some basic features like a wallet deposit facility to help them make more real money opportunities available over time.