Indian gaming industry set to grow 20 pc to reach Rs 23,100 cr by FY25: Report

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New Delhi: Indian gaming industry is poised to record a 20 per cent growth to reach Rs 23,100 crore by FY25, a report on Tuesday said, citing industry estimates that number of online gamers in India has touched 442 million, surpassing China.

The report by Grant Thornton Bharat and E-Gaming Federation further advocated a comprehensive Code of Conduct (CoC) for the gaming industry, setting clear standards for ethical behaviour to ensure accountability and transparency.

The dynamic gaming landscape in India is fuelled by a vibrant young demographic and set for unprecedented growth, the report said.

"The industry is projected to experience a 20 per cent growth by FY25, reaching Rs 23,100 crore. Over the last five years, Indian gaming has raised USD 2.8 billion from domestic and global investors," it added.

According to industry estimates, the number of online gamers in India has reached a soaring 442 million, surpassing China, making a case for adherence to a strong code of conduct and embracing self-regulation to ensure sustainable growth of this industry.

The real money gaming (RMG) segment is emerging as one of the chief revenue drivers within the industry.

"With users spending an average of 8.5 hours per week in FY22, this segment is gaining significant traction," the report said.

It noted that India's RMG sector faced several challenges in 2023. The government's implementation of a 28 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST) "significantly impacted" the sector, leading to widespread layoffs and the closure of some start-ups due to the tax burden.

"Despite these challenges, the sector continues to account for 83-84 per cent of the revenue, with approximately 100 million online gamers daily, including 90 million paying to play," it said.

This gamer participation ensures that the industry's expansion continues, with the tax implications having a limited impact on overall long-term growth.

"Even after the 28 per cent GST implication, investor sentiment remains strong in the industry, with deal activity reflecting confidence in its sustained growth," it noted.

The report underscores the importance of third-party certification for fostering self-regulation and maintaining high industry standards.

"The CoC addresses key risks such as cyber threats, regulatory uncertainties, and financial risks, offering best practices to mitigate these challenges and ensure the industry's sustainability and growth.

"By emphasising robust player protection mechanisms, the report highlights proactive measures and educational initiatives, calling for collaboration among industry players, regulators, and policymakers to create a safer, more responsible gaming environment," as per the report.

Moreover, emphasising player protection and consumer rights, the report calls for robust regulatory mechanisms to safeguard players from cyber threats, fraud, and other unfair practices.