In a press conference, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (IT) Rajeev Chandrasekhar revealed that the Center has proposed a self-regulatory body to certify what is allowed as an “online game” in India and is prepared to start public consultations on the draught online gaming policy. The suggestion follows a government panel’s recommendation for new laws to control a market that Redseer Consulting estimates will be worth $7 billion by 2026.
Online gaming intermediaries will be permitted but if they tend to transgress into betting, they will not be permitted. Our intent is to restrict intermediaries from advertising without permission. Our job is to regulate the Internet: Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar pic.twitter.com/Of3UACyFWG
— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2023
With the number of Indians playing online games increasing, it has become necessary to verify that these games are provided in accordance with Indian regulations and that players are protected from any danger. In addition, the Government of India has assigned problems relating to online gaming to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in order to permit consideration of those issues as a whole.
“Any game that allows for or permits wagering on its outcome will not be permitted,” said Chandrasekhar, adding, “All online gaming companies will have to register with the SRO that will decide on the action required to be taken in line with rules.”
Five directors from a variety of backgrounds, including online gaming, public policy, IT, psychology, and medical, will serve on the board of the SRO. The organisation will need to ensure that the games are free of anything “which is not in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order, or incites the commission of any cognisable offence related to the aforesaid.”
Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, two American investment firms, have recently supported the fantasy cricket-focused Indian startups Dream11 and Mobile Premier League. The proposals for industry regulation come amid mounting concerns that the popularity of these games, particularly among young people, has resulted in addiction, financial losses, and even some recorded suicide instances.
Gaming businesses would need government approval to establish a self-regulation body, which would have a government-nominated member with experience in public policy, public administration, law enforcement, or public finance, as well as a member from the fields of psychology, medicine, or consumer education.