Anutosh Chatterjee is a Subject Matter Expert (SME ) in the global iGaming space., Anutosh has a substantial knowledge and experience for the Indian subcontinent.
Anutosh started his career in GVC holding in 2003 as part of their core marketing team and has been exposed to all aspect of real money wagering from paper lotteries to online betting. Anutosh has successfully launched multiple products across various gambling spectrum in India and abroad.
How did you find your start in the industry and how did you arrive at your current position?
Anutosh: I started more than 16 years ago with Party Gaming ( now GVC ) , back to India in 2010 , where I started my consultancy business.
What do you think the industry will look like in five years?
Anutosh: I assume this for India: Three words – Consolidation , Regulation ( positive / negative ) significant FDI , this will lead to the following:
– More organized players will venture , lead with SME’s
– More states will come with state regulations ,eg. Telengana
– FDI flow should be enormous
– Land based casinos will see a uprising
– Gambling as a domain will be better accepted in India
– Lower middle class will gamble more
What are some of the biggest challenges facing the gambling sector in India in terms of legislation and regulation at the moment?
Anutosh: Mindset and the social acceptability would play a significant role , as opposed to the actual legislation and regulation. Political will is BIGGEST challenge.
The debate on legalising sports betting in the country has gained momentum in the country with the Law Commission’s report, however, there has been little discussion at the political level so far. How do you see the deliberations moving ahead in the coming days?
Anutosh: As reflective from my answer above , it’s a uphill task , it’s a very sensitive topic for vote banks. Absolute majority in respective houses are important for a particular party. I think a concrete deliberations can only be understand by a single strong headed party. The simple idea of not preventing online platforms working anywhere in the world , has to be articulated in Lutyens Delhi
Do you think the government needs to focus more on the gaming sector? If so, what are the immediate and practically plausible steps that can be taken by the government?
Anutosh: The current size ( legal ) is too low for the government to apply any mindshare. But I think with the LCI report , government has taken into cognizance the amount of “ underground “ gambling and it should take priority in the coming years.
Do you think other state governments are looking at opportunities in the casino and gaming space?
Anutosh: State governments should be more proactive in this space, it offers immense employment and investment opportunities. Backward states like Bihar , Jharkhand should have a good gaming policy where they can attract a ton of investments , while keep local interests / culture intact.
Do you think it makes sense to look at opportunities in the broader Indian subcontinent, for example in Nepal and Sri Lanka?
Anutosh: The sheer size of the Indian subcontinent is an opportunity not to be missed , both countries interest are ONLY because regulation exists mainly on the land based domain. The online aspect is worth exploring , although both these countries would observe which way India is going.
What are the latest products that are becoming increasingly popular in India?
Anutosh: I think rummy would eventually be a dead game in India , its not working anywhere in the world. Fantasy , esports , online lottery are some new products which would be interesting in the coming years.
In your own words, describe what you believe SPiCE 2019 to be.
Anutosh: A repository of best minds in the Indian gaming space !
What do you look forward to by being a part of SPiCE 2019?
I look forward speaking and meeting with the best brains around the world.