Shashi Tharoor proposes new bill to regulate betting on online gaming in India

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Jan 17 2019
Shashi Tharoor proposes new bill to regulate betting on online gaming in India
HIGHLIGHTS

The new bill presents a regulatory structure for online games where betting is prevalent so as to keep track of suspicious betting patterns, keep control over the flow of finances in this sector, and to stop generation of black money.

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Highlights:

  • Shashi Tharoor has presented a new bill for regulating online gaming.
  • The bill presents a regulatory structure for the mostly unorganised online gaming sector.
  • It also covers Fantasy gaming and games where online betting is prevalent like Fantasy Cricket, Poker, Rummy, and others. 

Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, has presented a private member’s bill in the Lok Sabha. This bill presents a regulatory structure for the unorganised online gaming sector, where a slew of new players entered in the last couple of years. Tharoor tells ET that there is a pressing requirement for forming a statutory framework that has government’s oversight. This is to ensure that service providers are following license conditions and to have some degree of control over the flow of money as well as to keep track of suspicious betting patterns and to stop the generation of black money. As per Tharoor, there is a need for a regulatory body, like the one that is proposed in his Sports (Online Gaming and Prevention of Fraud) Bill. 

“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,” Tharoor said. This bill will regulate games that fall in the online sports gaming segment and involves “prediction of the results of a sporting event and placing a bet on the outcome, in part or in whole, by means of a telecommunication device. As fantasy gaming is in relation to an actual sporting event, it will also be covered by the ambit of this bill.” 

Roland Landers, CEO of AIGF says, “There is an urgent need to have government intervention in order to streamline the industry, preserve integrity of sports and eliminate sports fraud. AIGF is committed to dealing with issues pertaining to online gaming industry.” This bill will also apply to fantasy gaming and games where online betting is prevalent like Fantasy Cricket, Poker, Rummy, and others.

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