New Delhi, August 4th 2016; India, with 1.3 billion people and two-thirds below the age of 35, the world’s largest youth population, is poised to become one of the world’s leading markets. Economic growth has resulted in a society that is embracing digital content and entertainment like never before, enabled by the explosive growth of smart phones and affordable wireless internet.
In view of this transformation in the Gaming industry, All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), a not-for-profit organization registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and headquartered in Mumbai, an apex body came into existence, to focus on policy advocacy, research and forum for discussion amongst various stakeholders associated with the Gaming industry.
The AIGF aims at dealing with issues surrounding the Gaming industry, and will comprise of Game Operators, Players, , Social activists, lawyers, economists, policy analysts, industry experts, Legal & Advisory Firms, Technology Companies , Gaming Designers, Payment Gateway Vendors, Gaming Bloggers and Responsible Gaming Companies.
There is a fundamental difference between the Games of Skill and Games of Chance. The Supreme Court in 1967 in State of Andhra Pradesh, vs R Satyanarayana, ruled that the game of rummy is a game involving substantial degree of skill. In 1996, the Supreme Court in K R Lakshmanan vs State of Tamil Nadu ruled that betting on horse-races is a game of mere skill. In subsequent cases this position has been ratified. Similarly the game of poker has also been recognised as a game of skill by courts in Karnataka and Calcutta and legislations in West Bengal and more recently in Nagaland. Not many people are aware that games like poker, rummy and fantasy cricket are already permitted legally even if there are stakes or money involved.
AIGF was officially launched in New Delhi to emphasize on the positive aspects of the Gaming Industry in India, which was brought to light through a Panel discussion amongst eminent personalities from various fields. The Panellists include Mr. KTS Tulsi (Senior Advocate Supreme Court & Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha), Mr. Kirti Azad (Former Cricketer & Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha), Mr. Ranjit Sinha (Former CBI Director) and Ms.Rosalind Wade (Managing Director, Asia Gaming Brief, Hong Kong), who will participate via video conferencing. The objective of the event was to create a positive imagery, as well as make all stakeholders and the general public aware about the industry
According to a 2010 KPMG report, gambling and betting in India is worth over US$60 billion, most of which is largely gray. A recent report of the International Centre for Sports Security (ICSS) estimates the betting market in India to be worth over US$130 billion. FICCI estimates that the revenue potential by legalising betting and Gaming could be around Rs. 20,000 crores. Since gambling is a victim less crime and the 1867 law is not seriously enforced, it would be best to legalise the activity to relieve India’s fiscal deficit. The funds generated from this activity could be used to fund social and infrastructure schemes and promote sporting activities.
To support these findings, Mr. Roland Landers (CEO, AIGF) projected on the objectives of the AIGF which includes finding solutions to issues faced by the industry, allowance of FDI and technology collaboration, promote Responsible Gaming, ensure Player Protection and work towards opening up the Gaming Industry, which will eventually contribute to the economy of the country. He was quoted saying, “The Gaming Industry has tremendous potential for bringing revenues for the ex-chequer provided it is regulated fairly and taxed at a reasonable rate.”
If betting is legalised, it will be possible to monitor the betting patterns in a given sport. Therefore the menace of fixing in sport can be curtailed to some extent by identifying suspicious betting patterns by punters and sharing it with sports federations or law enforcement agencies. Globally, there are agencies to monitor betting patterns which assist organisations like FIFA in identifying particular bets which may be threat to the integrity of sports.
Legalising betting will also allow reputed Gaming companies to enter the market and curb the activities of criminal elements. Additionally, it will dry up funds of the underworld, which has used earnings from betting to fund terrorist organisations.
The AIGF – All India Gaming Federation, is a not-for-profit entity. The AIGF as an apex body will focus on policy advocacy, research and forum for discussion amongst various stakeholders associated with the Gaming industry. It’s Founding members include Essel Group, Sugal & Damani and Deltin Group.
Led by Mr. Roland Landers, CEO (AIGF), the AIGF will function with an Executive Committee, Sub-Committees and an Advisory Panel. The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) would perform the following functions.
Research and analyse current trends in the Indian Gaming industry and track regulatory, policy and commercial updates.
Commission and produce reports, knowledge papers and studies on the need to reform Gaming legislations, proposed regulatory changes, socio-economic benefits of allowing Gaming and lotteries, etc.
Analyse International trends of the Gaming, betting and lottery industry.
Actively engage with governmental agencies and organisations, political parties, civil society groups, jurists, economists and journalists.
Organise events to create awareness about the issues faced by the Gaming industry and benefits of legalising gambling and lotteries including but not limited to seminars, conferences, discussions, press briefings, etc.
Advocate a policy framework to regulate all forms of Gaming and gambling activities.
Urge for regulation of games of skill, games involving substantial degree of skill and mixed games of skill and chance like poker, rummy, fantasy sports, videogames, etc., either under single umbrella legislation or under a separate legislation.
Suggest measures to curb problems of gambling addiction, gambling by minors and other social problems associated with gambling.
Liaise with government authorities to urge for a reasonable and just rate of taxation to ensure survival of the industry and minimise chances of tax evasion, and have clarity on State and Central taxes for Players and operators.
Develop industry best practices and a self-regulatory mechanism as well as set standards or norms of fair-play and transparency that ought to be followed by all companies engaged in the Gaming business
Undertake measures to initiate litigation in courts of law, if required to protect the interests of the Gaming industry and society at large.
Will aim at implementing a framework for Player Protection/Responsible Gaming.
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Rajya Sabha has overwhelmingly passed the 122nd Constitution Amendment Bill, 2014 to facilitate rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.The GST Bill is aimed at bringing uniform tax regime in the country by subsuming state levies. Under it, a single rate of GST will replace Central Excise, State VAT, entertainment, entry and luxury taxes to ensure seamless transfer of goods and services. Now, the Bill will again go to the Lok Sabha and then ratified by at least 50 per cent of the states Legislative Assemblies, to become a law.
Replying to over six hour long debate on the Bill, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will try for the most reasonable rate for GST.
He dismissed the apprehension of members that Centre will have veto power in the proposed GST Council saying it would have only one third weightage in it.
On Congress demand to bring proposed Central GST and Integrated GST bill as a financial bill, and not as a money bill, the Minister assured the House that he will comply with the Constitution and will discuss the opposition members before bringing the Bills.
Government will announce GST implementation roadmap today. Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said, it is only end of a beginning and the real work starts now. He said Center wants to implement it as soon as possible.
CPR and ESID are pleased to invite you to a workshop on Have newly created Indian states promoted inclusive development? A comparative political settlement analysis of Jharkhand and ChhattisgarhWednesday, 10 August 2016, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (followed by lunch)
Presentations: Vasudha Chhotray, Vidushi Bahuguna and Anindita Adhikari
Sources: Image 1, Image 2 by Accountability Initiative
This workshop will discuss the findings from a two year long project on ‘Newly created states and Inclusive Development: The subnational political settlements of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh’. The research study is part of the Effective States Inclusive Development (ESID) research cluster at the University of Manchester and was conducted in partnership with Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi.Given the changing territorial map of India and the increased focus on smaller states to promote accountable governance, superior political representation and improved administrative and fiscal efficiency, this research aims to answer an increasingly urgent question: have newly created Indian states, in fact, promoted inclusive development? It studies Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, which gained statehood concurrently in November 2000, and are comparable for their high incidences of poverty, poor tribal populations, and vast reserves of mineral wealth.
In order to critically examine the politics of inclusive development in the two states, the research study characterizes the ‘sub-national political settlement’ in each. It then seeks to understand how the political settlement of each state explains the trajectories of development in two domains: mining and the provision of food subsidies through the Public Distribution System. By studying extraction with welfare in an interrelated manner, the study offers insights into the nature and extent of inclusive development that is possible within each political settlement.
The presentations will be followed by the following panel discussions:
Panel 1: New states and inclusive development: What can a sub-national political settlement approach tells us?
Dr Pratap Bhanu Mehta: President, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Dr Rathin Roy: Director, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy
Prof Kunal Sen: Professor of Development Economics and Policy and Joint Research Director of the ESID research centre
Dr Louise Tillin: Senior Lecturer in Politics and Deputy Director, King’s India Institute
Panel 2: The sub-national political settlement and inclusive development: Insights from welfare and extraction
Prof Nandini Sundar: Professor of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University.
Nitin Sethi: Senior Associate Editor, Business Standard
Yamini Aiyar: Senior Fellow, CPR and Director, Accountability Initiative
Biraj Patnaik: Principal Adviser to the Supreme Court Commissioners on the Right to Food
Dr Vasudha Chhotray: Senior Lecturer, School of International Development, University of East Anglia
Vidushi Bahuguna: Research Associate, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Anindita Adhikari: Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Sociology, Brown University
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