The Indian Premier League (IPL) season is finally here, and this means that fantasy sports apps will pick up in action, come September 19th, when IPL begins. For the occasion, All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has reinforced the AIGF skill games charter to promote responsible gaming and player protection.
There are about 360 million online gamers in India (from a FICCI Frames report compiled by EY). As per a report in The Time of India, a release by AIGF said, “In view of this trend, the importance of self-regulation for online skill gaming cannot be emphasized enough. Thus, the AIGF has reinforced its resolve towards responsible gaming with the AIGF skill games charter. It emphasizes on responsible gaming to build a robust self-regulatory community and facilitative ecosystem for the offer of online games of skill in a transparent and fair manner, with due regard for consumer and stakeholder interests.”
The AIGF charter was released in 2018. The charter is built on the tenets of integrity, legality, global best practices and good governance. Player protection and responsible gaming are the focus of the charter, which also includes guidelines for advertising in this space.
Roland Landers, CEO, AIGF said in the release, “Since its inception, one of the aims of AIGF has been centered around bringing recognition to the sunrise sector of online skill gaming. Having a robust self-regulation mechanism that would serve the needs of the sector by means of good governance is extremely vital.”
“It is heartening to see that millions of gamers are participating in online formats including fantasy cricket and that this ecosystem is growing rapidly. With IPL about to start, (using) AIGF’s well-structured responsible Gaming Charter, we will put the right checks in place and treat it with the respect it deserves,” said Jhulan Goswami, India Women’s cricket team pacer.
Goswami, among other experts from diverse backgrounds, was recently on-boarded the AIGF advisory board to strengthen the board in the wake of the broadening online skill gaming ecosystem in India. Other eminents personalities added to the board include former judge of the Supreme Court and former Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, Justice Vikramajit Sen; founder of the Agarkar Centre of Excellence (ACE), Fatema Agarkar, and counselling psychologist & psychotherapist, Ishita Pateria.
Justice Sen said, “As online skill gaming has grown by over 30% over last year, self-regulation for this ever-expanding Industry is extremely important. The AIGF Skill Games Charter provides the very foundation for responsible gaming, user integrity, player protection, and best practices for member operators to ensure ethical practices to safeguard consumer interest.”
“Through the adoption of principles and the disciplinary process AIGF stakeholders in Fantasy sports namely Paytm First Games, Mobile Premier League (MPL), Nostragamus & Liverpool's have pledged to adhere to and uphold the tenets of the AIGF Skill Game Charter which will benefit the millions of fantasy sports gamers that play on these platforms,” said Landers.
Fantasy sports stakeholders commented on the release. Dibyojyoti Mainak, VP Policy & Legal, MPL said, “We will abide by the AIGF Skill Game Charter and best principles set by various industry bodies in this regard. MPL is committed to the pledge of responsible innovation, among others, in the eSports and fantasy space.”
Sudhanshu Gupta, COO, Paytm First Games said, "It is our responsibility to safeguard the interest of online gamers while providing them with an ethical and transparent ecosystem. We have joined hands with the AIGF and will ensure the adherence of fair self-regulation practices."
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