New drug: Real money games

New real estate: games for real money

Players often lose money, but the companies that make the games make huge profits

The author is Professor, Department of Economics, PGDAV College (University of Delhi) For some time, you must have seen ads for some apps where sports celebrities are seen advertising online games, although there are ads at the same time in the same ad Quick warning, ” To play these games carefully, they can be addictive.” In fact, our youth today are trapped in the apps and games these celebrities have endorsed. The “real money gaming” industry has expanded greatly due to the expansion of internet and mobile in the country for quite some time now. It is believed that by 2025 the turnover of this industry will exceed 5 billion dollars.

Various types of online and app-based games, including virtual games, such as fantasy sports, rummy, ludo, games related to stock trading, and crypto-based games, called real money games, which are played for money and reward. These games depend on skills as well as opportunities. But regardless of whether it is based on skills or opportunities, they are expanding rapidly and the companies promoting these apps and sites are making huge profits.

spoil the future of youth

Since the advent of these real money games, there have been many cases of young people who ended their lives after being entrapped by debt. It happens because they are actually addicted and the chances of winning in these games are very slim. In some cases, even families have been destroyed after a young member got stuck in a huge debt due to these addictive apps.

In 2020, an app company called Dream-11 bought the IPL cricket sponsorship rights with a payment of Rs 222 crore. After that, the Dream-11 app became a household name. Other fantasy cricket game apps have also purchased the advertising rights to the IPL. All of these apps are promoted by top cricket celebrities. Celebrities include MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant.

Reports indicate that most young people who commit suicide due to gambling addiction through these apps are in the 19-25 age group, and they include students, migrant workers and businessmen.

Skill or opportunity?

Most courts have upheld the validity of these fantasy games, accepting the argument that they are a game of skill. However, understanding the attraction, so far six governments have banned or not allowed fantasy cricket rigs. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has asked the union government to ban 132 such apps.

Although some studies hold that winning this fantasy cricket is not by chance and is therefore not gambling, some sports psychologists believe that fantasy cricket is actually gambling and may lead to pathological gambling behaviour. However, the logic of people associated with this “industry” is that there is no reason to get addicted to fantasy sports as the average ticket price in this is only 35 rupees, so no one can lose more than 10 thousand in such games in time of their lives.

However, with the information that people commit suicide after falling into lachat rupee debt due to these “games”, this argument is proven wrong. Therefore, further investigation is needed on this topic. It should be noted that at the moment this industry is not subject to any laws and is self-regulated. Therefore, instead of obtaining information from the industry itself, only a thorough investigation of these applications can reveal the truth.

Risk-taking is not only said to be important in neoliberal economic theories, but it is glorified as well. Many financial instruments have entered the era of neoliberal policies and speculation has become an integral part of today’s economies. Although speculation in the stock, commodity, and foreign exchange markets has many side effects, it is legally permissible. With the entry of speculation into the common life, the playing of fantasy games has also gained general acceptance.

Players lose, not companies

In fantasy games, some players may win and others may lose, but the application companies that run these games make huge profits. This profit drives them to buy sponsorship rights by paying huge fees to cricket regulators like BCCI. It must be understood that their profits come at the expense of those poor students, workers, farmers and common people who put their savings on the line in these games, or even borrow to play these games of real money.

We find that courts and administrative bodies have information about these games, which customers do not have. The Supreme Court has noted that the outcome of skill-based games can be affected by mechanical manipulation.

In such a situation, the Government of India and the respective administrative ministries cannot stand idly by. Apps that push young people to gamble should be banned. Until this process is complete, there will be a need to block ads, especially by celebrities.

(The author is Professor, PGDAV College, University of Delhi. The opinions expressed are subjective.)

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