Online gaming in India will grow faster than rest of world: AIGF CEO Roland Landers

With the rise of the online gaming sector over the past year, the ecosystem witnessed much-needed developments vis-a-vis legislation, taxation, and streamlining of best practices.

While the KPMG report says there are 420 million casual games users, 92 million RMG card and casual based users, 60 million RMG card and fantasy sports users, ‘India Gaming Report 2021’ by Lumikai and Redseer reports that there were 80 million gamers in 2020. It also surmises that paid gamers will be driving further growth as paid gamers in India are set to approximately become 235 million in 2025.

Speaking to G2G News, All India Gaming Federation CEO Roland Landers shared that the online skill gaming industry along with the M&E segment has started growing rapidly in India with around 7.3 Bn downloads in last year.

Citing statistics and figures to substantiate the growth of this sunrise industry, he bullishly shared, “The industry is now projected to grow faster than the global online gaming segment and will reach around 3 billion USD by 2025. It has emerged as an important avenue due to a multitude of favorable factors such as the young and tech-savvy population, the affordable availability of data, feature-packed smartphones, improved internet access, and overall technological advancement. The move has also aided the expansion of multi-gaming formats in the online gaming industry.”

According to him, this growth will further lead to revenue generation for the industry driven by ease of payment, better security and instant withdrawal of winnings, etc. “As the regulatory landscape is also evolving and positive judgments are expected from some states, we look forward to an exciting year for this sunrise sector,” he added.

The RMG operators have been haunted by various concerns with regards to ongoing disputes about the tax rate and the manner in which it should be levied.

Providing a stand on GST and Taxation Mr. Landers further added, “As an apex industry body for online skill gaming formats we sincerely request the Tax authorities to consider internationally accepted principles of taxing the online gaming sector and provide certainty to the industry on rate and valuation.

As per the BCG-Sequoia report released last month, mobile gaming is expected to triple to a $5Bn+ market opportunity by 2025. Gaming is currently a $1.8Bn sunrise sector in India. Between 2017-20, the Indian gaming market grew at 38% CAGR compared to 10% and 8% in USA and China respectively.

The report estimates that 46% of the Indian population has access to the internet and 22% of the population plays at least one mobile game. In this scenario, it becomes increasingly important that the response to the issues surrounding tax and regulation is proportionate.