In a significant move to regulate the online gaming market in India, the Union government has decided to appoint Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology as the nodal ministry to regulate online gaming.
The Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrashekhar tweeted on 27 December that the government is fully committed to "encouraging technology innovation — but also to ensure no illegal content is possible."
He also said that the government will soon publish rules for online gaming intermediaries and start public consultations on them.
The online gaming market, a subject which comes under state list and is regulated by various state level laws, has long been asking for a central regulatory structure.
While several states have banned mobile games, due to concerns over harm caused to players, the industry has argued that there should be regulations for usage instead of blanket bans.
In May, the ministry set up an inter-ministerial task force for regulation of online gaming. Its report published in October, recommended creation of a central regulatory body, clearly defining what games of skill and chance are, and bringing the industry under the purview of Prevention of Money laundering Act, 2002.
Interactive Media Venture Capital Fund Lumikai in its 'State of India Gaming Report', said that the domestic gaming industry has already reached $2.6 billion, and is expected to grow four-fold to $8.6 billion by 2027.
India has already crossed half a billion gamers in financial year 2022 (FY22), up from 450 million the year before, said the report. India was also the world's largest consumer of mobile games in FY22 with 15 billion downloads in the year.
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