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ESports

Need for robust policy framework for promotion of e-sports sector: AIGF

For the first time, the upcoming Asian Games in September 2022, e-Sports will be an official medal category

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PTI

Updated: 17 March 2022 1:13 PM GMT

With e-sports and e-gaming gaining traction, there is a need for robust policy frameworks and the creation of digital infrastructure to promote the sector, All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has said.

E-sports and e-gaming, under the umbrella of the digital economy, are going to play an important role in the Indian economy, the industry body said in a statement. Quoting a recent study, it said the Indian gaming market is poised to reach USD 6-7 billion in value by 2025 from USD 1.8 billion at present.

A push by state governments will act as a catalyst for the growth and development of this nascent sector, the federation said, adding states need to take a proactive approach by framing appropriate guidelines in this regard as some of the High Courts have struck down the move to ban online gaming.

"India has more than 200 million e-gamers playing across more than 200 platforms. E-sports and e-gaming, under the umbrella of digital economy growth, are going to play an important role in the Indian economy. "To encourage this, the e-gaming industry needs robust policy frameworks and digital infrastructure to foray towards being a global leader," PK Mishra, president of All India Gaming Federation, said.

Not just in India, it said, the popularity of e-sports and its players are gaining recognition internationally. For the first time, the upcoming Asian Games in September 2022, e-Sports will be an official medal category as one of the 37 sports to be played at the mega international event, the industry body said. Mobile Premier League cofounder and CEO Sai Srinivas said, "In various states across India that we continue to expand our footprint and now India is also at a global tipping point in the key global markets".

MPL recently acquired Berlin-based games studio GameDuell.

The recent Karnataka High Court judgment lifting the ban on gaming in the state follows other positive judgements given by the High Courts of Punjab & Haryana, Rajasthan and Bombay that recognised Fantasy Sports as games of skill and a legitimate business activity protected under Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution of India. In recent years, the federation said, e-gaming has been caught in a web with some states seeing them as games of chance and not skill.

Now with the judgement of Karnataka High Court bringing more clarity, a boost from several states and a renewed focus on e-gaming, things definitely look far better on multiple fronts - promoting e-gaming, e-sports, creating jobs, boosting startups and accelerating innovation, among others, it noted.

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