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Focused Group Discussion on the theme “Gaming Law in India”

Institute of Law, Nirma University Nirma University in association with Neetigya Legal Consultants LLP organised a Focused Group Discussion on the theme “Gaming Law in India” on March 5, 2022. Hon’ble Mr Justice A K Sikri, Former Judge, Supreme Court of India graced the occasion with his august virtual presence as the Chief Guest at the event. The event also marked the presence of Advocate Mr Maulik Nanavati, Neetigya Legal Consultants, Dr. Anup K Singh, Director General- Nirma University and Dr Madhuri Parikh, Dean and Director, Institute of Law.

Mr Gopal Jain, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India, Mr Shambu Singh, Retd. IAS, Mr Nandan Kamath Principal Lawyer at LawNK, based in Bangalore. Ms Ranjana Adhikari, partner Indus law Mumbai, Mr Anwar Shirpurwala the CEO of Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, Mr Sunil Krishnamurthy, the general secretary of All India Gaming Federation, Mr Amrit Mathur an Advisor to the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and Mr Rahat Khanna heads Public Policy initiatives for Games24x7, were the esteemed speakers at the event.

Hon’ble Mr Justice A K Sikri in his address stated that there is a deep connect between law and economy and the online gaming has thrived more in the covid times. The primary central legislations dealing with gaming laws in India was the Public Gambling Act, 1867. He pointed out that there is a lack of uniformity in the legal position across states. The legal regime is ambiguous which poses a challenge for investors and significant compliance burden for game operators. He then stated that there are two aspects of online gaming, the skill Vs chance debate. If money is involved in game then it becomes gambling. He emphasized that this sector can create many job opportunities. He also referred to the report by NITI Aayog on the issue. There is the need for an authority to monitor regulatory compliance Lack of protections for gamers and safeguards against illegal activity are other areas of concern, he added.

Dr Anup K Singh in his Presidential address stressed on the need to deliberate on moral aspects in addition to the legal aspects on the issue of gaming in India. He highlighted that the games on offer should ensure equality and non-discrimination and there is also a need to develop educational games.

Earlier Dr Madhuri Parikh, Dean and Director, Institute of Law delivered the welcome address. She stated that the market value of India’s gaming industry was around INR 90 billion in financial year 2020 and the Online gaming is expected touch 500 million users by 2025. She highlighted about the relevance of the theme and the need for deliberations on the issues of Gaming Laws as there is no uniformity in legal position across states. She informed that the institute in collaboration with Neetigya Legal consultants with conduct three events- Focussed group discussion, a conference and shall also compile a book on gaming law.

Prof Abhas Srivastava and Prof Alaukik Srivastava were the event coordinators. Ms Nandini Goyal was the anchor at the event.

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