Bengaluru: The IT Ministry on Thursday April 6 notified amendments to online gaming in the IT Rules, 2021, allowing multiple self-regulatory organisations (SROs) to decide if a real-money game is allowed to operate in the country or not.
The aim of these amendments is to enforce greater due diligence by online gaming and social media intermediaries in respect of online games & fake or false misleading information related to Government business, the Ministry said.
Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said that online gaming is certainly a huge opportunity for India and young Indians.
“We see the Indian online gaming ecosystem to expand and grow into a multi-billion dollar industry and be an important catalyst to India’s One trillion-dollar Digital economy goal by 2025-26, with very clear restrictions on online wagering and betting,” the minister said at a press conference here.
As per the amended rules, it has been made obligatory on the part of intermediaries to make reasonable effort to not host, publish or share any online game that can cause the user harm, or that has not been verified as a permissible online game by an online gaming self-regulatory body/bodies designated by the Central government.
Rules will also ensure that online games or sites that involve wagering will be banned completely including advertising or any time of presence.
“Industry participating SROs will be core of the enabling framework which will certify permissible Online games,” said the IT Ministry.
Under the rules, MeitY will also notify an agency to factcheck false and misleading information related to government business.
These amendments have been drafted after holding widespread consultations with multiple stakeholders including parents, school teachers, academics, students, gamers and gaming industry associations, child rights bodies, etc.
Sai Srinivas, CEO and Co-Founder, MPL, said that new online gaming rules is a watershed moment for the industry.
“The rules will go a long way in helping us realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’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,” said Srinivas.
Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation, said this is a decisive first step for comprehensive regulation for online gaming and, will propel the industry to compete globally.
“These rules will go a long way in promoting consumer interest while helping the industry grow responsibly and transparently and will also help in curbing the menace of anti-national and illegal offshore gambling sites, which have been proliferating in the last few years,” he added.