Blanket ban on online gaming is no solution: Jayesh Ranjan, IT secretary at Telangana
Telangana is among the few states in the country that have banned online gaming, but is currently working on a policy allowing players to operate in the state with guarantees.
A blanket ban on online gambling is not a solution and the sector can offer many opportunities to stimulate the economy, create jobs and improve productivity, a senior Telangana government official said on Wednesday (September 15th). Telangana was among the states that banned online gambling. but he is now working on a policy to allow players to operate in the state with safeguards.
Telangana’s chief secretary for IT, electronics and communications Jayesh Ranjan speaking at a games seminar hosted by IAMAI said the ban was motivated by a game coincidence that has led to addiction in some people.
“We have always had this clarity that a blanket ban is not the solution. You have to distinguish between game of skill and game of chance.
“Some of those reasons, especially on the part of law enforcement, have been a refusal to ban or prevent people from playing these games, largely because of gambling,” said Ranjan.
He said skills development has lagged behind in the past 18 months as skills cannot be learned just by listening to lectures and hands-on training is required.
“I see a lot of virtue in using games for this kind of purpose. There are a lot of companies working on these things.
“How do you acquire skills by gamifying the whole context and helping candidates navigate through these sessions in a user-friendly way? This is a major step forward in the way vocational training will be delivered in the future.” , said Ranjan.
According to Indiatech CEO Rameesh Kailasam, several court rulings have granted legitimacy to online gaming formats, including fantasy sports.
However, in some states like Telangana, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Nagaland, these online formats are not allowed if they involve cash.
Ranjan said the state government is coming up with an online gaming policy that will be a model for others.
“We need to dig deeper to understand what the impulses are for regulatory roadblocks… We have been there for almost 7 to 8 months. We are following this path very cautiously.
“We don’t want to rush something that can potentially be challenged in court or that can lead to some public misunderstanding and outcry,” Ranjan said.
He also said Telangana is building one of the best infrastructure for games, animation, special effects and other technology companies called Image Tower, which is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2023.
“It will be a matter of pride not only for Hyderabad and Telangana, but also for the country,” said Ranjan.
Games 24X7 co-founder and CEO Bhavin Pandya said it would be helpful for the Union government to recognize certain games of skill and legislate on them.
“We can also replicate some global models where you need to get a license to operate the games under specific conditions,” Pandya said.