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Online gaming needs balanced tax and regulation in India: Dream11 CEO

Online gaming needs balanced tax and regulation in India: Dream11 CEO

Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream11, said the government needs to levy the right amount of tax – one that benefits the industry, along with regulations to ensure that legal operators who are following the laws of India to actually thrive.

Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream11 (Photo: Twitter) Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream11 (Photo: Twitter)

The online gaming industry needs a balanced taxation and regulatory environment to ensure its growth in India, says Harsh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Dream11 & Dream Sports, India’s largest fantasy sports platform.

Speaking exclusively to Business Today TV's Udayan Mukherjee, Jain said the government needs to levy the right amount of tax – one that benefits the industry, along with regulations to ensure that legal operators who are following the laws of India to actually thrive.

Jain added that if taxation crosses a point for any industry, then business can suffer. "We have also seen sometimes that money moves away from official (organised) industry to unofficial industry, where the government loses all revenue. "I believe that the government knows this very well. And they're hopefully taking the right moves that even if the taxation goes from 18 per cent to 28 per cent of our revenue that would off course hit our business metrics. But, I personally would welcome that as a right step forward to regulate the industry going further hand in hand with the government," he added.

The Dream11 co-founder pointed out that the online gaming industry already accounts for about a billion dollars of tax revenue in India. Underlining that the sector can provide a lot of value to the exchequer, Jain called for adequate regulation to ensure and protect the rights of legal operators and gaming consumers.

The craze for fantasy games has skyrocketed in the last few years. And Jain believes that the industry will grow from 150 million users to 300 million users in the next three years in India. "The nature of fantasy sport is to provide engagement for a sport that fans love. It is like popcorn in a movie,'' he said.

Commenting on the revenue metrics, Jain said the business was not a cash-burning one. "We are actually a profitable company. We have been here for a few years now", he said.

Last November, Dream Sports, the parent firm of Dream11, said it had been valued at $8 billion.

Jain added that while it is fairly easy to enter the gaming ecosystem, creating a game that actually works is tough. "But when it does you have no logistics, no delivery, no warehouse, no shipping, and nothing offline. So your cost centres are pretty low. And that's what allows you to be profitable", he said.

"When we look at our data, it says that over 99 per cent of all our users have never won or lost more than Rs 10,000 net in their lifetime," he added.

Talking about his entrepreneurial journey, Jain said," I have been playing fantasy Premier League fantasy sports for the English Premier League for 20 years now. In 2007, I moved back from America after my engineering. And, there was this league starting at that time called the Indian Premier League. And, so I went looking to play fantasy cricket. And, there was none."

"So, I pitched the idea to my friends and that is how it started. Just out of pure passion, solving a problem for ourselves, which we assumed would be like 100 million other Indians would like to use," he added.

Also read: No decision on rationalisation of GST rates yet, say Finance Ministry sources

Published on: Jun 17, 2022, 8:52 PM IST
Posted by: Mohammad Haaris Beg, Jun 17, 2022, 8:42 PM IST