New Rules For Online Gaming — What Does It Mean For The Stakeholders?
The Central Government announced new rules to oversee online gaming in India — prohibiting games, that involve real money wagering or betting, on Thursday (6 April).
The government will implement a self-regulation model, where primarily three self-regulatory organisations (SROs) will approve games that comply with the regulations.
The approved games should not involve any type of user harm, addiction, or wagering.
The SROs will be composed of industry experts, gamers, and other stakeholders, including educationists, mental health experts, and child protection organization members.
The regulations have been added as an amendment to the IT Rules of 2021.
SROs must publish a framework that safeguards users against gaming addiction, financial loss, and fraud on their websites.
Additionally, online games involving real money will have to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) norms.
The Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar made clear that the SROs will be penalized if they don't follow the regulations, and any state trying to crackdown on betting or gambling will not be affected by the regulations.
Welcoming the new online gaming roles, Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation, said, “As the oldest, largest, and most diverse industry association for online gaming in the country, we are grateful to MeitY for notifying the amendments to regulate online gaming under the Indian Information Technology Act, and acknowledging the long-standing demand of the gamers and the online gaming industry".
"We believe this is a decisive first step for comprehensive regulation for online gaming and, will propel the industry to compete globally, as envisioned by the Prime Minister,” he added.
Director-General, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports, Joy Bhattacharjya, said “The notification of MeitY rules marks a pivotal moment for the online gaming industry in India. It is expected to put an end to the ambiguities that the industry was grappling with and lay the foundation for sustainable and responsible growth of the industry".
"India’s online gaming industry has already attracted $2.5 billion in FDI and we are hopeful that this will propel the industry to great heights and encourage innovation. We look forward to engaging with MeitY to seek requisite clarifications as our members initiate the compliance process," he added.
According to Sai Srinivas, CEO, Mobile Premier League (MPL) “The rules will go a long way in helping us realise our PM's vision for India to become a global leader in gaming and also contribute to the continued success of Brand India and Create in India''.
On the similar lines, Paavan Nanda, Co-Founder of WinZO games, said, “The overall recognition of Online Games of Skill by way of inclusion as the third form of intermediary after Social Media, and content-related publishers/OTT players, is beneficial for GST differentiation from gambling, providing the required stability of regulation, and facilitating a level playing field for all games of skill”.
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