Many Indian cities and towns have experienced a growth in online gaming. The India Mobile Gaming Report by the Mobile Premier League (MPL) released in 2021 showed that 2020 saw up to 170% increase in the number of India’s gaming population. With this, we can say that the industry is set for a bright future.

The significant increase of online gaming in the country in 2020 is connected to the ongoing pandemic. In 2020, Indian governments had to implement physical distancing just like any other government worldwide. Because of this, Indians were forced to stay at home and find new activities with physical distancing. Many then resorted to online gaming including 10CRIC’s collection of real cash games.

The significant movement of India’s gaming industry is now considered one of the important pillars of the country’s economy. This is why when the state of Karnataka imposed a ban on online gaming, not a lot of people were happy. The good thing is that the Karnataka High Court has recently lifted the ban on e-gaming.

More on Karnataka’s Recent Ban Lift

It was the mid-last year when the Karnataka government announced an amendment to the Karnataka Police Act that aimed to prohibit and criminalize online gaming within the state. This move was criticized by people who are concerned about the growing gaming industry in the whole of India. For a while, Karnataka was unfazed by the criticisms but ultimately, the HC had the power to reverse the amendment and they did.

This is exactly what happened in Tamil Nadu. Earlier last year, the state government of Tamil Nadu also implemented a ban on online gaming. The reason behind this is to prevent the risks of online gaming in the state which was rising. However, the Madras High Court eventually stepped in and struck down Tamil Nadu’s amendment.

Both Hight Courts that lifted the online gaming bans in these states, however, mentioned that the local governments are still free to pass an amendment regarding the said ban as long as it’s not deemed as unconstitutional. Still, this latest decision from the HC provided a major relief to the country’s almost billion-dollar gaming industry.

The Chief Executive of All India Gaming Federations (AIGF) spoke about the recent events in Karnataka and said that the HC’s decision was a step in the right direction. Roland Landers said in a statement, “We look forward to working with the government and stakeholders to develop a clear regulatory framework — that will enable legitimate gaming companies to operate in the state with safeguards while eradicating illegal gambling apps from the state.”

Online Gaming Boom Throughout India

The rise of online gaming in the country is mainly attributed to the mobile sector. India’s internet infrastructure has improved so much over the last few years but aside from this, the number of mobile users in the country has already reached over 1.8 billion.

More than half of the mobile population are online and it is estimated that the country now has over 300 million mobile games. With a CAGR of 38% in 2019-2020, the growth of mobile gaming is now even faster than the growth of social media users in the country.

Investors are not blind from this because many of them have already backed India’s developing gaming sector heavily. KPMG estimates that more than half a billion USD were already invested in the Indian gaming market during the end of 2020. This is why when states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu implemented a ban on e-Gaming, many were not happy.

Lawyer and gaming industry analyst, Jay Sayta, was one of the few who expressed their disappointments. Sayta said that implementing laws like this could cripple India’s burgeoning gaming sector. It could affect the possible employment of thousands of people in India.

The Future

This year, it is expected that more Indians will show interest in online gaming. Especially now that mobile networks are starting to slowly roll out 5G connectivity throughout the country. With mobile devices becoming more accessible and affordable, we will see more people investing in mobile products and some of them could end up as mobile gamers.

Aside from this, the recent lifts on the ban would allow the industry to further strengthen and develop. However, if there’s anything that could help the growth of the industry stabilize even after the pandemic, governments should look into taking steps forward like regulating the industry instead.


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