Online gaming for money is a popular pastime for many Indians. Affordable smartphones and internet coverage have given access to offshore gaming platforms, with some offering less consumer protection than others. An expert insight into the industry explains why the Centre should provide a licensing system for the Union market and make it harder for black market operators to lure desi players.
Online Gambling Licenses the Norm in Mature Markets
Several Covid-induced lockdowns only emphasized what was already a clear trend among many mobile phone users. Casual gaming for money has definitely moved online as a form of digital entertainment. The importance of the phenomenon is often discussed in mass media reports and industry analyses.
An expert look into the best practices among online gambling licenses reveals the difference between nationally regulated markets and countries which succumb to offshore operators from around the world. While games of chance and skill are not always treated the same way, clear legal frameworks for real-money gaming always helps businesses, consumers and the exchequer.
Lotteries remain India’s favourite legal gambling sites like 10Cric but there are no online lottery rules and regulations in place, leaving the market open to offshore platforms and black market operators. The issue is dealt with differently in most mature markets – e.g. Europe and the US – where lotteries and other legal gambling forms are subjected to strict licensing regimes, technical and financial standards.
While offshore licenses from faraway jurisdictions remain an option for many players, monitoring and control of money flows and game integrity is completely out of the hands of local authorities. Keeping a monopoly (with subcontractors), allowing a few quality licensees or opening up the market for more liberal access, “gambling permits” need to be clear and precise, raising requirements for companies and quality standards for players.
What Are Gambling Licenses for Online Operations
Online gaming licenses are found in many jurisdictions, with some more reputable than others. Popular offshore Commissions like those in Malta, the Caribbean or some Canadian tribe licensors allow gambling companies to set up operations quickly, with relatively affordable costs, digital and accounting requirements. The higher the levels of control and transparency, the more trust these destinations gain as bases for business operations.
Nations with more traditions and experience in licensing, controlling and benefiting from legal gambling on their territory have upgraded those to online operations. Most of the EU, the UK and a number of American States have a well-established gambling regulation framework, where every company that wishes to work with local players needs to obtain a license from the local regulator. This has proven as a more effective, efficient and ultimately advanced way of catering for the social and economic importance of gambling.
Setting up initial and repeated standards of licensing and performance aims to ensure protection for players, businesses and the public interest. National legislators have to work with industry experts to provide a clear regulation and a set of monitoring and control tools. Ultimately, gambling companies prefer operating legally as proof of their reputation and quality rather than facing a constant battle uphill against restrictions and bans.
India needs to capitalize on the online gaming boom among all age groups and global markets. Providing a well-defined regulatory framework is in the interest of all those involved.