India’s anti-gambling regulator has issued guidelines for the entertainment industry on how it can handle online gambling, as it looks to curb its growing market share.
The country’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FRA) on Wednesday issued a set of guidelines, which it said were designed to help the industry deal with the growing menace of online gambling.
In a statement, FRA chairperson Ashish Kumar said that the move to make online gambling a ‘minor’ activity in India, which will allow the industry to avoid the ‘sophisticated and expensive’ online gambling industry, will help the Indian gaming industry to grow at an affordable rate.
Online gaming, the main mode of gambling in India with about 25% of all gambling transactions, is illegal under the country’s strict anti-money laundering laws.
According to FRA, the ban on online gaming will allow Indian gamers to ‘avoid the sophisticated and expensive online gambling business model that is currently dominant in India’.
Online gambling was the second-biggest game in the country, behind blackjack, in terms of revenue, with a total of over $3.4 billion ($4.2 billion) in revenue in 2015, according to a recent report by the industry’s trade body.
According the report, Indian gamers spend $7 billion per year on online games, with another $2.7 billion spent on mobile games.
A total of 10 million Indians play online games per month, with an estimated one billion Indian adults playing online games on a daily basis, according the industry body.