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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 04 January, 2023

  • 6 Min Read

Online Gaming Draft Rules

Online Gaming Draft Rules

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) recently suggested a change to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, to include online gaming.

Regarding Draft Rules:

  • According to the proposed regulations, online gaming organizations will not be permitted to place bets on the results of games. Mandatory know-your-customer (KYC) criteria for verification.
  • The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, have been amended by the proposed rules.
  • These guidelines were created to protect consumers from any potential harm from skill-based games.
  • Online games must register with a self-regulatory organization, and only those approved by the organization will be permitted to legally function in India.
  • Five directors from a variety of professions, including online gaming, public policy, IT, psychology, and medicine will make up the Board of the self-regulatory agency.

The mechanism for resolving disputes:

  • A three-tier dispute resolution structure with a grievance procedure at the gaming platform level, an industry self-regulatory body, and an oversight committee chaired by the government, similar to the one outlined in the Information Technology Rules, 2021 for online streaming services.
  • Betting Restrictions: Bets on the results of games will not be permitted by online gaming businesses.

What effects may we expect from the rules?

  • These proposed regulations centralize the regulation of online gaming.
  • This is a fantastic first step toward comprehensive online gaming regulation and will lessen the state-by-state regulatory fragmentation that has been a major obstacle for the sector.
  • A stable policy framework that provides clarity on what is allowed would be extremely beneficial to the online gaming business.
  • The industry would develop to become more responsible, making it safer for the final consumers.
  • Transparency & Credibility: By ensuring more transparency, consumer protection, and investor trust, this framework will support the legal domestic online gaming business.
  • Supporting Startups: The startup environment and the objective of the $1 trillion economy both include online gaming as a critical component.

Issues:

  • Regardless of size or danger, the rules continue to lump all gambling intermediaries into one big group.
  • They all demand the same compliances, including the requirement for executives who are based in India.
  • Young start-ups may be disproportionately affected by this, and international companies may find it challenging to launch their services in India.

Social Dangers:

  • There have reportedly been a few incidents where young people have committed other crimes including theft and murder due to mounting debt brought on by losses in online games.
  • Loss of revenue: Users who switch to grey or illegal offshore online gambling apps do so at the expense of tax money for the government and local employment prospects. They also lose access to legal recourse in the event that a provider behaves unfairly or refuses to pay out wins.

India's online gaming:

  • In 2025, it is anticipated that the Indian mobile gaming market would generate $5 billion in sales.
  • Between 2017 and 2020, the industry expanded at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38% in India, compared to 8% in China and 10% in the US.
  • With more than 13 crore players across more than 200 platforms, the nation is the fantasy sports market's largest market internationally.
  • The government observed a surge in the number of persons playing online rummy.
  • India divides the games mostly into two broad groups to distinguish them.

The legality of Online Games in India:

The Supreme Court established in 1957 (Chamarbaugwala cases) that competitive games of skill are considered commercial activity and are therefore protected by Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution.

  • The courts have categorized rummy and horse racing as skill-based activities that are exempt from gaming laws.
  • Betting and gambling: In India, gambling is a non-recognized offence that is subject to bail.
  • Part II of the State list contains information on betting and gaming.
  • The Indian Constitution's seventh schedule contains a detailed description of them.

Source: The Indian Express


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