1 in 2 Indians want loss limit of Rs 50-500 per game for fantasy gaming

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As the debate on online gaming heats up in India, more than one in two Indians (54 percent) want a loss limit of Rs 50-500 per game for online and fantasy gaming, a report said on Tuesday.

While platform operators term fantasy games as games of skill, most citizens believe they are a game of chance with financial risks involved.

While the Supreme Court has upheld its position and the position of the Punjab High Court in 2017, ruling that fantasy sports are a game of skill, the public view continues to differ, according to the online community platform LocalCircles.

LocalCircles conducted a nationwide survey which received over 33,000 responses from people from 322 districts.

For 65 percent out of 9,507 respondents, online fantasy sports are akin to gambling/wagering or a game of chance with risks in contrast to the position of the Supreme Court.

Tamil Nadu Governor R.N. Ravi on October 1 approved the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance, 2022, banning online gambling and regulating online gaming in the state.

This was the second attempt by Tamil Nadu to regulate this industry after the first law, passed in 2020, was struck down by the Madras High Court in August 2021 deeming it unconstitutional to ban “games of skill”.

Last week, the All India Gaming Federation moved Madras High Court challenging this ordinance. The petitioner before the court has contended that games like poker and rummy should not come under the ambit of “betting and gambling” as they are games that require skills.

According to the report, some citizens have equated these games to state lotteries of the late eighties and early nineties where people lost money regularly but a select few called them a game of skill, using probability theory.

Nearly 91 percent of respondents also want a ban on unsolicited spam promoting online and fantasy games.

“People are concerned about unsolicited messages being sent from online gaming and fantasy sports platforms and 92 percent want such unsolicited communication to be prohibited. The telecom regulator, TRAI, must act to enforce the same,” said the report.

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