Heavy restrictions are still in place on gambling and betting in India and discussions on regulation and reform of the industry are ongoing. Eventus International plans on continuing such discussions with an India Gaming Industry conference in February 2019.
In February 2018, Eventus International hosted the Sports Betting and Gaming India (SBGI) summit in Goa, seeing a successful turnout and informative discussions on the region’s sports betting and gaming issues. Eventus International has decided to rebrand SBGI as the Strategic Platform for iGaming Conference and Exhibition (SPICE). This event will take place on February 26 and 27, 2019, also in Goa, India.
Discussing what legalized gambling can bring
The two-day conference and exhibition will include discussions on the impact of legalized gambling as well as the opportunities that can arise from a regulated industry. Presentations scheduled for SPICE will include investment opportunity discussions in online skill gaming as well as in land-based casinos. Additional presentations will involve responsible gambling and player protections, foreign investments structuring, and the financial and socioeconomic benefits of legalized gambling.
Commenting on SPICE, Eventus International Managing Director Says Yudi Soetjiptadi said: “After the successful SBGI summit and exhibition last year, we hope to continue the dialogue with SPICE, which we hope will be received as a constructive initiative, presenting an opportunity to both the Indian government and regulator and the gambling and gaming industry.”
Law Commission makes new recommendations
As Eventus International prepares for SPICE, the Law Commission of India has made new recommendations for gambling and betting involving sports, providing suggestions to check for fraud and money laundering, as well as other areas. Regulation would give the government the ability to identify and prevent gambling by minors as well as assist problem gamblers and see a decrease in illegal gambling.
A report titled Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting Including in Cricket in India was released last week, providing a three-pronged approach to regulation, with reforms to the existing gambling market involving horse racing and the lottery, as well as creating stringent regulations for the gambling industry.
The Law Commission of India sent the report to the law minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, saying that it is not possible to stop sports fraud and match-fixing, but effective regulation appears the only viable option to assist in decreasing the problems. The commission began its examination of a framework for enacting a law to legalize cricket-related wagering after being asked to do so by the Supreme Court in 2016. The group took their task one step further and decided to review betting and gambling as a whole as they are “intertwined.”
The report recommended several changes including asking the government for modifications to the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy and forex laws. The request is that both online and casino gaming be allowed for FDI. The report says that allowing foreign direct investment in these sectors would “bring substantial amounts of investment to states that decide to permit casinos, propelling the growth of tourism and hospitality industries.” A growth of activity in the sectors would help to create new jobs and additional revenues for the region.
SPICE will most likely include discussions involving these recommendations as well as any new developments that are made in regulation efforts between now and 2019. The newly re-branded conference and exhibition will take place right before the national general elections, which are scheduled for April and May of 2019, with many believing the time is right to discuss the possible options in the gambling and betting industry before law and policy-makers.