Online gaming investors flag risks to jobs, investments in SOS to PM on GST

Top investors in India’s gaming sector have written to PM for a review of the GST Council’s recent decision to levy 28% tax on the full value of bets placed by users, terming it the world’s most onerous regime that could wipe out $2.5 billion of investments and more than 50,000 high-skilled jobs.

Investments to the tune of at least $4 billion, planned over the next 3-4 years in the industry which had almost $3 billion in revenue in 2022 in India, could also be hit, as per the communique to the PM. Signatories include 11 domestic or India-focused funds such as ChrysCapital and Kotak Private Equity, and 19 overseas investors including Tiger Global.

Online gaming issue in India

Online gaming is a rapidly growing industry in India, with millions of people playing games online every day. However, there are a number of issues associated with online gaming in India, including:

Addiction: Online gaming can be addictive, and there have been a number of cases of people becoming addicted to online games and neglecting their real-life responsibilities.

Gambling: Some online games involve gambling, and there have been concerns that this could lead to problem gambling.

Cyberbullying: Online gaming can be a breeding ground for cyberbullying, and there have been cases of people being harassed or threatened online.

Data privacy: Online gaming companies collect a lot of data about their users, and there are concerns about how this data is being used.

Lack of regulation: There is currently no comprehensive regulation of online gaming in India, which leaves the industry open to abuse.

The government of India is aware of the issues associated with online gaming, and they are working on a number of initiatives to address these issues. These initiatives include:

Providing awareness about the risks of online gaming: The government is working to raise awareness about the risks of online gaming, and they are providing resources to help people who are struggling with addiction.

Regulating the industry: The government is working on a comprehensive regulatory framework for online gaming, which will help to protect consumers and ensure that the industry is fair and transparent.

Enforcing laws against gambling: The government is enforcing laws against gambling, and they are working to crack down on illegal gambling websites.

Protecting data privacy: The government is working to protect data privacy, and they are issuing guidelines to online gaming companies on how to collect and use user data.

Increasing GST: The Government has increased the GST tax to 28%, to decrease the no of players included in the game

The government’s initiatives are a step in the right direction, but there is still more work to be done. The online gaming industry is growing rapidly, and it is important that the government keeps up with the latest trends and challenges.

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