The All India Gaming Summit 2017 saw some eminent speakers from the Gaming verticaldiscuss some critical insights impacting the Gaming industry in India. A special segment was dedicated to the best International practices that India can emulate in order to create a regulated and fair environment that is conducive for all stakeholders involved.
The International perspective was represented and put forth by Ms. SarikaPatel, Commissioner – UK Gambling Commission. She spoke about the experience of regulating gambling in the UK and suggested that India could adopt the many successful aspects to the local market.
Sharing an overview of international best practices at the summit, Ms.SarikaPatel, Commissioner – UK Gambling Commission said, “UK’s gambling laws are very comprehensive and include both betting and gaming. In UK we consider gambling a legitimate leisure pursuit. In my opinion anyone who wants to bet will bet, irrespective of whether the system is legitimate or illegitimate. If betting is illegal, it will push the system to dark basements. Regulating betting offers consumer protection.Mere legalisationhas not proven to be effective e.g casinos in Nevada and the UK. Regulations had to be brought in to lend a structure and streamline the industry. As a result of which these businesses are now run by large corporates. In the UK, the four big betting companies are listed, have investors and follow corporate governance codes. We fine the operators for any lapses. That sends a strong message to their shareholders and investors. It also sends a strong message to competition that they need to look after their customers”.
Being more specific on the benefits of legalising betting and gambling, she said, “There is no known case of match-fixing that has come to light in the English Football League. Legalising and regulating betting insports only increases integrity. In the UK where sports betting is regulated, open and fair, we have the least amount of match-fixing issues. I definitely feel having everything fair and transparent in public eye, with the ability to regulate it brings in transparency.”
On being asked, how has the spread of technology impacted regulatory practices? She said, “As technology progresses, it makes gambling more accessible. But technology is also able to protect the customer more. My view is that India can leapfrog and gain from technology changes and be able to track consumer spend and patterns of play to protect consumers.”
These International insights are said to empower the Law Commission, who is preparing a report on whether Betting and Gambling should be legalised in India.