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Online Gambling Laws in India: The Way Forward

George Miller

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Online Gambling Laws in India: The Way Forward
Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

By now, we all now that the online casino industry has truly made its mark on the world. India is no exception; in fact, although it is one of the smaller markets, people are extremely keen on trying their hand at the best-loved online casino games. In fact, the end of 2020 resulted in revenue of 90 billion Indian rupees. That’s not bad at all right?

Nevertheless, there are still some issues at hand when it comes to laws and legislation. As you will see in the upcoming sections, India still complies to ancient gambling laws that are incredibly outdated. What does this mean for the market? How can players still engage in online gambling?

 

Indian Gambling Laws: An Overview

As stated in the Indian Constitution, all forms of gambling are regulated at state level. Needless to say, this is a huge problem considering the fact that all Indian states have different rules and regulations when it comes to online gambling. It also goes without saying that this has continuously sparked huge debacles amongst casino operators who want to offer their products and services in the country.

All these problems are down to one thing – ancient gambling laws. Given that we are living in an era of cutting-edge technologies, such laws obviously do not make sense anymore in this day and age. In this regard, we can refer to acts such as the Public Gaming Act of 1887.

According to one of the statements, the operation of Indian casinos, the assisting of gambling houses and the visiting of these venues, and financial gambling are all considered to be a crime. If you are caught, you will be fined ₹200 or you can even face up to 3 months in prison.

Additionally, there is another statement that stands out. The Act states that: “Nothing in this Act shall apply to any game of mere skill, as distinguished from a game of chance or a game of chance and skill combined, unless it is carried on in a common gaming-house.”

In a nutshell, India divides gambling into two – Games of Skill and Games of Chance.  In this respect, Games of Skill relate to those games that require you to place bets on person’s skill. In the case of Games of Chance, you need to place bets on numbers – in simple terms, the winning result.

In reality, such games cannot be completely classed as Games of Skill and Games of chance due to the fact that both of them have elements of skill and chance. For example, although you must factor in the luck aspect with games like poker, you have to have a set of skills to be able to beat the house.

Currently, only 13 card games have been identified as games of skill. Some of these include rummy, poker and horse racing. Needless to say, there’s a lot of work to be done here.

 

What does the Future Hold for Online Gaming?

Bearing all this in mind, we have to wonder what lies ahead for the online gambling world. Since some states still seem to be stuck in the past, this can be a problem. Some states do not even define what online gambling is!

In fact, only states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Nagaland have updated their anti-gambling policies to also state their position regarding online gambling. In particular, Andhra Pradesh is still a stickler for the ancient ways.

Only recently has the Andhra Pradesh Gaming Ordinance been published. The amendments made in this Act echo ones that have been published centuries ago. Simply put, the legalizing of online casino games is not going to happen anytime soon. In fact, the Ordinance has actually imposed more than the existing laws to completely prohibit all casino games including those of skill. Without a doubt, casino operators aren’t very happy about this and are set on challenging it in court.

The Information Technology Act of 2000 caused a lot of problems for operators. Given that the main points of this Act are about web-based betting, operators thought that lawmakers would come up with decent terms that would benefit both parties. On the contrary, this act introduced blocking servers that restricted operators from providing their services to players.

On top of that, this Act didn’t even lay down the basics of what online gambling is. In fact, no definitions are given at any point.

On a more positive note, the Supreme Court of India has stated that games of skill aren’t really linked to gambling and operators who offer these services are allowed to do us under the Indian Constitution.

All things considered; the situation isn’t too bad for players. As opposed to operators, they are allowed to sign up to offshore casino platforms as long as they are licensed and regulated by a legit gaming body. If you need some help to find the best casinos in India, just look on casinos-India.in.

By law, you need to choose an offshore casino that is licensed by a gaming body. That said, it is in your best interested to do so to avoid getting scammed by rogue casinos. Trust us when we say, you probably won’t even enjoy your experience, let alone get your winnings.

Users who are interested in joining the online casino world must also be at least 18 years of age. You also must take into consideration that some casinos will only accept 21 years old and over, so make sure you read the Terms and Conditions of your chosen casino provider.

Finally, you can also join an offshore casino if it is Rupee-friendly. You can also avail from alternatives that allow conversions.

 

Why Online Casinos Should be Legalized.

As you can see, Indian gambling laws are extremely complicated and confusing at the best of times. We can only hope that things change in the very near future.

In the long run, India can benefit from legalizing online casinos. We understand that Indian lawmakers want to steer players away from all this, but having strict laws imposed isn’t the right way to go about it. The country needs just one legislation that can regulate and license games of skill. Then, the laws can be supported by further regulations created by gaming bodies.

Since Indian players are already signing up to legal offshore platforms, it makes sense to be able to offer the same product in the country. Players will get to play the same games, win bonuses, and enjoy a memorable gaming experience that is safe and 100% legal.

Clearly, there is still a lot of work to be done regarding online gambling. However, states like Maharashtra are making significant progress. In fact, casino operators and lawmakers are having discussions on how they can tackle the legalizing and regulating of online betting. Nothing is set in stone, but it’s definitely a start.

Another reason as to why India should legalize online casinos is evident in the statistics. At the time of writing, the country is currently losing out on a staggering $140m annually due to the rise of unregulated gambling. This can easily be solved if both parties come to a fair agreement on how to regulate online casinos.

Currently, the growth behind India’s online gambling market is driven by the middle class and the continuous development of the internet and cutting-edge technologies. With a 50% penetration rate, there are 560 million internet users in the country. This is extremely impressive considering it is second to China.

Given that the market is not as small as some people may think, it is obvious that people are interested in the appeal to line businesses. Taking into consideration that people are leading more comfortable lives, not only their lifestyles will change but also their interests. This is where online casinos come in. Seeing that it is something that has not always been there in the past, it’s obvious that more and more people want to try their hand at it.

Another reason why online casinos should be legalized is obvious – job creation. It will benefit the country greatly if legit Indian business are permitted to compete in this ever-growing market. Of course, jobs within the iGaming and e-Commerce sectors would result in several start-up companies and will also boost up the Indian economy by a mile. What’s more is that more job opportunities can be created if this is executed perfectly, such as game development and online payments.

Finally, a regulated market will offer peace of mind to lawmakers, players who just want to enjoy their favourite games and legit casino operators who just want to do their job. In the long run, a safe and secure environment provides more peace of mind. To make sure that things are being done by the book, this can easily be done by carrying out regular audits of government-approved online casinos.

In this way, one is able to weed out the dodgy casinos that are contributing to the rise of unregulated gambling and ultimately scamming players into thinking they can win big payouts.

There’s no question that there is a high demand for gambling. Let’s hope the government can come up with better solutions for all parties involved in the near future.

 

Asia

Rock Entertainment and Kiswe Partner to Localize Esports Tournaments in Asia-Pacific (APAC)

George Miller

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Rock Entertainment and Kiswe Partner to Localize Esports Tournaments in Asia-Pacific (APAC)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Kiswe, the global interactive video company, and Rock Entertainment Holdings announced a collaboration to easily and cost-effectively localize the world’s biggest esports tournaments for broadcast in the APAC region. The partnership will enable Rock Entertainment to bring esports content from around the world and make it specific to APAC, creating fully immersive, customized gaming experiences for players and fans in their native language.

As part of the collaboration, Kiswe Studio localized popular esport tournament 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 and 2 – Challengers Hong Kong/ Taiwan for Rock Entertainment and then streamed onto their linear channel “Blue Ant Extreme” in March and April 2021. Viewers can also look out for 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 3 Finals – Challengers Hong Kong/ Taiwan LIVE in July 2021, as well as other upcoming esport matches.

The esports industry is forecasted to reach $1.5B for 2023. Yet despite being virtual, many tournaments are currently being produced with commentary, graphics, and video that cater only to local markets, missing a huge opportunity to extend their reach and monetize much broader audiences. Kiswe Studio empowers event organizers to create and scale personalized content anywhere and in any language.

The partnership will allow esports producers and casters to work remotely, eliminating travel and equipment costs and risks associated with onsite production, and creating new opportunities to offer premium content and competitions and grow diverse audiences. Networks will also have the ability to cost-effectively localize games, tap new markets for innovative content, and open up new monetization avenues. Gamers can look forward to watching and interacting with bespoke, top-tier competitive gaming content from around the world in their own native languages.

“We are excited to be working with Kiswe to bring Valorant and other live and localized esports broadcasts to our viewers across Asia,” said Beatrice Lee, CEO Asia Pacific, Rock Entertainment Holdings. “This partnership is about delivering the content our esports fans love in a personalized and inclusive way.”

“The globalization of esports also necessitates its localization and simple translation is not enough,” said Kiswe CEO, Mike Schabel. “Kiswe Studio can adapt esports games from anywhere so that even the most subtle cultural nuances are captured for any region, delivering the most enjoyable gaming experiences.”

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Asia

BLAST Premier renews deal with Douyu in expanded media rights partnership

George Miller

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BLAST Premier renews deal with Douyu in expanded media rights partnership
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

  • The deal will see Douyu retain exclusive Counter-Strike rights for China and deliver the first ever BLAST Premier Fall Qualifier in the region

Esports tournament organiser BLAST Premier has expanded its media rights deal with Douyu, China’s leading live streaming service.

As part of the expansion, Douyu will retain exclusive broadcast rights for the rest of the BLAST Premier 2021 season and get the opportunity to deliver the first ever BLAST event in China by hosting a Fall Qualifier.

The deal will see BLAST Premier streamed across Douyu and extended to Huya and Bilibili with over 500 million monthly active users across all three platforms.

The announcement comes off the back of a number of new deals for BLAST Premier with the esports tournament orgasiner’s portfolio of media rights growing to over 35 partners, while shown in 18 different languages and to over 150 TV territories.

China is one of the fastest growing markets for esports in the world, which translates to a live streaming audience of 193m in 2021 with BLAST Premier enjoying some of its biggest viewership in the country.

Alexander Lewin, VP of Distribution and Programming for BLAST, said: “In line with our strategy to team up with the world’s biggest broadcasters we are delighted to further deepen and extend our partnership with Douyu into a second year. Douyu’s esports expertise and fantastic reach will continue to provide BLAST Premier’s fanbase in China with the very best Counter-Strike entertainment. We are looking forward to working with the Douyu team on the Chinese Qualifier and welcoming CS:GO teams from China into the BLAST universe.”

BLAST Premier is a global Counter-Strike tournament series that unites all major events, offers opportunities to all regions across the globe and crowns the world champions of CS:GO. Up to 32 teams will take part in the seven events this year with a combined prize pool of $2,475,000 on the line. The BLAST Premier Qualifiers provide teams from all corners of the world with an opportunity to feature in the tournament organiser’s events and a platform to compete on an elite level.

The tournament organiser posted increased viewership last year with more than 83 million hours of content watched across all seven of its Counter-Strike tournaments while delivering the most watched CS:GO online match of all time during the 2020 Global Final.

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Asia

Significance of Yoga in esports community/athletes | International Yoga Day

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Since the covid outbreak, we have realized the importance of good health, and we know “health is a key to success”. 

The esports community can’t ignore the constant pressure they go through and the long hours of dedicated playing schedules are no joke. Maintaining good health is important for esports players too. As we will be observing International Yoga Day (21st of June, Monday), Abhinav Tejan, one of India’s top player in Tekken7, Karan Manganani, the best Clash Royale player in India, and Moinuddin Amdani, the leading player in PES 2020 share their views on the well-being of esports athletes and how yoga can help to achieve it, especially during the pandemic scenario.

Please find below the quotes of India’s esports heroes who are winning Laurels for the country and are setting the bar high and aspiring many more youngsters to take up esports professionally:

Quote shared by Abhinav Tejan

As the pandemic outbreaks in our country last year, the esports athletes are playing more than the usual timing as we all are stuck in our houses. But, since we don’t want to part ways with our controller, mouse, mobile and keyboard we need a more, let’s say, easily acquired solution which takes care of our mental and physical well being during these tough times. The best thing about Yoga is that you can take it up right in the comfort of your own living room.

Yoga might not only help improve the state and condition of your body and mind but also improve your gaming ability. Yoga is a form of workout which helps relieve stress and focuses on the use of breath in order to balance your body and calm your mind. As we can’t be able to go to gyms or any sports centre, we should make yoga our everyday regime.

Achievements by Abhinav:

Current national champion

1st position in Dreamhack Delhi 2018 and 2019

3rd position SEA Major TWT 2018

4th position IESF 2018 Kaohsiung

9th position EVO Japan 2020

Quote shared by Karan “jin kazama” Manganani

Esports gamers spend most of their day (10-13 hours sometimes) glued to their screens which takes a toll on their physical and mental health. Gamers usually have spine-related issues, their fingers are constantly stressed, and their neck and shoulder take a lot of pressure due to their profession. Esports athletes need to keep a check on their health, both physically and mentally and Yoga is a great way to help them, especially when we are confined at home. Practising even simple yoga exercises for the upper body can give great results. It also has the ability to relieve stress as players are constantly exposed to the virtual setup which tricks the mind. I personally rely on yoga to support my well being.

List of Achievements 2018-20 Clash Royale for Karan: –

 

  1. CRL Combine Phase 1 Rank 1
  2. CRL Combine Main Event Rank Top 10(Los Angeles)
  3. Asian Games 2018 National Champion (2018)
  4. Asian Games 2018 Regional Champion (South Asia)
  5. Asian Games 2018 Rank 4(All Over Asia)
  6. Esl India Premiership 2018-19 Winter Season Champion
  7. MGL World Cup Clash Royale 2018(India MVP)
  8. World Royale League Clash Royale 2018(India Captain)
  9. ESL India Premiership 2019-20 Summer Season Champion
  10. World Royale League 2019 Team India (MVP)

Quote shared by Moinuddin Amdani:

Every esports athlete is giving extra time in their gaming after this pandemic outbreak, which forced everyone to be confined within the four walls of their homes. Virtual reality is so lifelike that it can drastically affect one’s mind and personality. Yoga can play a role of catalyst for mental and physical well being, not just for gamers but for everyone.

With yoga as your guiding light and meditation as your inventory, one can easily improve their game. Practising yoga and meditation regularly will help you stay fit, keep calm through gaming competitions and make your mark in the virtual world!

Achievements by Moinuddin:

Two-time national champion

Runner up in PES 2017 tournament at IGX

Runner up at Nations Cup held in India

Represented India at the 2019 World Championship 2019

Represented India at E-Masters Asia

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