Electronic sports, or eSports, are competitive video games performed by professional gamers or e-athletes. Millions of spectators watch eSports online or in stadiums to experience the thrill and excitement of the games. eSports may be played on a variety of platforms, including PCs, consoles, and mobile devices. PUBG, Call of Duty, DOTA 2, FIFA, and Tekken 7 are some of the most popular eSports titles.
eSports has evolved into a global phenomenon, with tournaments and leagues held all over the world. The worldwide eSports viewership will reach 532 million in 2022 and will continue to increase in the next years. The International Olympic Committee has also recognized eSports, announcing the Olympic Virtual Series, a series of eSports events that will be included in the Olympics.
Exploring the Popularity of eSports Betting in India
India is one of the world’s fastest-growing eSports markets, with enormous growth and development potential. According to EY research, the Indian eSports sector would produce a total economic effect of more than Rs 100 billion by 2025, while also creating more than 11,000 employees. The number of eSports players in India more than quadrupled from 3,00,000 in 2020 to 6,00,000 in 2021, with a million expected by 2022.
A variety of reasons have contributed to the rise in popularity of eSports betting in India. For starters, the broad availability and low cost of smartphones and internet connectivity have enabled millions of Indians to easily access and participate in eSports on their devices. This ease of access has been critical in the mainstream acceptance of eSports betting.
Furthermore, the introduction of fantasy eSports and real-money gaming platforms has aided the growth of eSports betting. These platforms allow users to organize their teams and compete for cash rewards in competitive games. This combination of interactive games and real-money rewards has increased user involvement.
Growing esports knowledge and enthusiasm among the younger generation also contribute to the popularity of esports betting. The thrill and talent demonstrated in these games capture the youth’s interest and lure them into the realm of eSports betting.
Legal Challenges Confronting eSports Betting in India
In India, the legal situation of eSports betting is murky and complicated, as there is no explicit legislation that governs or forbids it. The Public Gambling Act of 1867 oversees gambling in India, however, it is out of date and does not address internet gaming. The legislation prohibits all types of gambling, except skill-based games, which are excluded from the concept of gambling.
However, because gambling is a state topic in India, the perception of what constitutes a game of skill differs from state to state. Some states, like Nagaland, Sikkim, and Goa, have allowed and regulated internet gambling, while others, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, have outright prohibited it. However, the majority of states have not adopted any formal regulation on internet gambling, leaving it to the discretion of the courts and police.
The biggest legal difficulty for eSports betting in India is proving that it is a game of skill rather than chance. The Supreme Court of India has ruled that a skill game is one in which the outcome is mostly influenced by the participant’s ability, knowledge, and competence, rather than by chance or luck. The court has also noted that the amount of skill required in a game might vary based on the nature and regulations of the game, as well as the level of competitiveness and participation.
Solutions for Resolving Legal Issues in eSports Betting in India
Resolving the legal issues surrounding eSports betting in India requires a multifaceted strategy. The federal government should establish comprehensive and consistent legislation to regulate and authorize internet gambling, including eSports betting. This legislation should provide explicit differences between skill and chance games, as well as create standard criteria for such categorizations. Furthermore, the law should establish a regulatory entity entrusted with managing and monitoring the online gambling business to assure compliance and defend the rights of players.
State governments should work together to unify and coordinate their internet gaming laws and practices. Adoption of the central law or a comparable model law that effectively controls and authorizes eSports betting within their different jurisdictions should be considered. This coordinated effort, in addition to collaboration with the central government and regulatory authorities, is critical for assuring law enforcement and eliminating unlawful and fraudulent operations.
Adoption of self-regulatory norms and standards is critical in the eSports business. These policies, which emphasize fair and ethical conduct, should maintain the integrity and credibility of games and participants. Educational programs should focus on educating both players and the general public about the legal and social implications of eSports betting, to cultivate a culture of responsible and safe gaming.
eSports betting in India is a vibrant and fascinating business that provides both potential and problems for participants, operators, and regulators. eSports betting in India can reach its full potential and help the growth and development of the esports sector and the economy by addressing legal difficulties and providing a friendly and supportive environment.