MEITY to Oversee Online Gaming, Drafts Rules for Self-Regulation

Earlier in December 2022, the Union Government had made amendments to the Allocation of Business Rules, following which, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is now the nodal ministry for online gaming in the country. 

The amendments made under series 370 has allocated “matters related to online gaming” to MEITY. Meanwhile, “e-Sports as part of multi-sports events” was listed under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

As far as gambling advertisements are concerned, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will continue to monitor advertisements put out by the gaming companies.

Even though the IT Ministry will be drafting a legislative framework for online gaming, the states will have the power to determine the legal status of online gambling and games of chance.

MEITY has Proposed Self-Regulation & Verification

The Ministry of Electronics and IT, which now oversees the Online Gaming situation in India, has proposed new rules for online gaming. 

The draft issued by the Government proposes self-regulation, physical Indian address, and mandatory verification of players signing up with online gaming companies.

With the new rules, the online gaming firms are expected to adhere to Indian laws, along with the laws pertaining to betting and gambling. The gaming platforms are covered by the IT rules issued in 2021, which also covers social media platforms.

The draft also demands that online gaming platforms display the registration mark, implement KYC for users, state withdrawal and refund policies, state any fees applicable, mention the process of determination of winners and reward distribution, and more. 

Learn more about Gambling Licences.

Self-regulatory bodies will be registered with the ministry (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) and may register online games of such online gaming intermediaries who are its members and which meet certain criteria. Such bodies will also resolve complaints through a grievance redressal mechanism,” the notice read.

As these new laws come at a time when the online gaming industry is thriving, the draft ensures that issues with gambling are addressed without hampering the sector’s growth.   

The draft amendments are aimed at addressing the said need while enabling the growth of the online gaming industry in a responsible manner,” the notice read.

Coming to the online gaming intermediaries, the new draft asks these intermediaries to observe due diligence. They’re asked to take efforts “to cause its users not to host, display, upload, publish, transmit or share an online game not in conformity with Indian law, including any law on gambling or betting.”

The draft is open for public consultation till January 17th. 

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