Shashi Tharoor, a senior congress leader has recently moved a private bill in the Lok Sabha that focuses on regulating ‘Online Gaming’ in India.
The proposed ‘Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud)’ bill by him emphasizes on how betting done in online gaming titles should be regulated. Tharoor spoke to Economic Times and explained the need to have a regulatory body that can ‘track suspicious betting patterns’ and ‘have some control over the money flow’ in the country.
“The main purpose of my bill is to preserve the integrity of sports. The bill is primarily divided into two parts for this purpose. One part recognises the offence of sports fraud and prescribes a special procedure to deal with it. The other part acknowledges the fact that the increasing commercial nature of sports increases financial incentives for vested interests to manipulate sporting events, therefore it provides for the regulation of online sports betting activities,”said Shashi Tharoor, Senior Congress Leader
Implications of the law if the bill is passed, and why it’s necessary
Esports in India has been on the rise with games like PUBG, CS:GO, Dota 2 and many others gaining immense popularity. The market has been growing exponentially in 2018 and did remarkably well in 2017, as reported by AFKGaming.
India’s first international gaming fest, DreamHack Mumbai 2018, was recently held with a prize-pool of 1 Crore INR for its esports tournaments. The Law Commission of India estimates that the online gaming market is currently valued at $360 million, and will rise to $1 billion by 2021.
There’s no doubt that esports is a steadily emerging market. Hence, regulations must surely be implemented to prevent scams in the industry.
If the bill is passed, esports titles such as CS:GO, Dota 2, PUBG & PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, and other ‘online gaming’ titles would be regulated accordingly under our law. Shashi Tharoor’s bill desires regulations for ‘online sports gaming’ which basically refers to online games in which betting on the outcome of sporting events is done. He also says the law will prevent production of black money in our economy.