Policy and Regulations
MEITY brings draft IT rules to regulate online gaming in India
To govern online gaming in India, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) announced draft rules proposing revisions to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The decision comes less than a week after MEITY was designated as an online gaming nodal ministry. Experts say the new laws will curtail overseas betting organizations while benefiting Indian fantasy sports and other gaming companies.
A statement issued by the ministry said: “With the user base of online games growing in India, need has been felt to ensure that such games be offered in conformity with Indian laws and that the users of such games be safeguarded against potential harm.”
According to the proposed amendments, an online gaming intermediary must exercise the due diligence while carrying out its duties, including making reasonable efforts to prevent users from hosting, displaying, uploading, publishing, transmitting, or sharing an online game that is not in accordance with Indian law, including any gambling or betting law.
MEITY will create self-regulatory bodies with the authority to register online games of its members who meet certain conditions. Complaints would also be resolved by such entities through a grievance redressal procedure.
Moreover, online gaming entities would need to display a registration mark on all online games, set to be done through a self-regulatory body. This will guarantee that their members follow IT regulations , and thus only organizations that obtain the registration mark will be permitted to promote things on social media.
For each online game offered by the online gaming intermediary, a random number generation certificate and a no bot certificate from a reputable certifying authority must be displayed on its website, mobile-based application etc.
Firms would also need to inform their customers about its policy on deposit withdrawal or refund, method of determining and distributing winnings, fees and other charges payable, apart from KYC procedure for user account registration. Companies will also need to designate compliance and nodal officers and have a physical address in India.