On February 4th, at the Lok Sabha, The Indian Minister of State For Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, answered the questions about gaming and esports policy in the questions session. He stated that esports is an emerging platform for the youth and there are a large number of esports enthusiasts in India. The minister also acknowledged that the government is aware of the differences between gaming and gambling and that there are no officially recognized institutions/governing bodies that have been established particularly for esports.
Jagdambika Pal, Member of Lok Sabha raised these questions questions to the Minister of State of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports , Kiren Rijiju) regarding “Gaming and e-Sports Policy” in India.
Questions raised at the Lok Sabha:
- Whether the Government has any plan to introduce Gaming and e-Sports Policy in the country and if so, the details thereof.
Answer: e-Sports is an emerging platform for the youth population in the country. There are large numbers of e-Sports enthusiasts in our country. It is included in Asian Games 2022 as a medal sports discipline but not yet included in the Olympics.
- Whether the Government has any plans to bring the sports and gaming in the Concurrent List of the Constitution and if so, the details thereof.
Answer: e-Sports is different from gaming or igaming and gambling, etc. as former is skill based while latters are chance based. In India, there are some Federations such as Electronic Sports Federation of India (ESFI), E-sports Development Association of India (EDAI) and E-sports India (EI), which have emerged for promotion of e-Sports. Currently, no Federations/Associations have been recognized by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.
3.Whether the Government has any estimates on the size/value of the gaming industry in India and if so, the details thereof.
Answer:“Sports” being a State subject, the primary responsibility for development and promotion of sports rests with the respective State/UT Government. The Department of Sports supplements efforts of theState/UT Government through its various schemes. Presently, there is no proposal under consideration to bring sports and gaming to concurrent list.
4.Whether the Government has any plans or taken any steps to regulate/curb illegal gaming, betting, and gambling in India, if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor.
Answer: Betting and Gambling is a State Subject (Entry at serial number 34 in the List II- State List of Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India), therefore, the State authorities are responsible to regulate/curb illegal gaming, betting and gambling in their respective States. The Law Commission in its Report No. 276 titled “ Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including Cricket in India” submitted to the Government on 5th July, 2018, stated that legalizing betting and gambling is not desirable in India in the present scenario.
- Whether the Government has taken any steps or has any plan to introduce educational gaming and if so, the details thereof.
Answer: As regards estimated value/size of gaming Industry in India, no such
study has been carried out by the Government.
Government has addressed the main issues. They have mentioned that there isn’t any governing body which are recognised by the government and This is the first time that the government has talked about esports and our digital athletes might get more support from the government in the future.