India Proposes Self-Regulatory Mechanism for Online Gaming Companies

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
India Proposes Self-Regulatory Mechanism for Online Gaming Companies
Photo: Depositphotos

India proposed a draft on Monday to ensure due diligence and allow its online gaming industry to regulate itself.

The government of India recently proposed a mechanism for self-regulation in the country’s online gaming industry. This development comes amid rising concerns over gaming addiction and disruptive patchy state laws. The newly-proposed online gaming self-regulatory body is a draft amendment to India’s information tech rules published Monday. Furthermore, this proposal comes after a state panel suggested new regulations for India’s growth-potential real-money online games sector.

So far, the initiative has been warmly received by India’s gaming space. Weighing in on the newly-proposed India online gaming self-regulating initiative, the CEO of All India Gaming Federation, Roland Landers, said:

“We believe this is a great first step for comprehensive regulation for online gaming and will hopefully reduce the state-wise regulatory fragmentation that was a big challenge for the industry. These rules will go a long way in ensuring consumer interest whilst helping the industry grow responsibly and transparently.”

In addition, Landers stated that the proposed rules represent a start in curbing the menace of illegal offshore and anti-national gambling platforms.

E-Gaming Federation chief executive officer Sameer Barde also shares Landers’ sentiments. According to Barde, the recent gaming oversight development could help to establish a regulated and sustainable industry. Furthermore, the E-Gaming Federation CEO added that the proposed self-regulatory body could promote responsible gaming.

Nazara Technologies joint managing director and CEO Nitish Mittersain agreed that the rules are a step in the right direction. However, he also added that there are numerous details that call for greater in-depth study.

Insight into Proposed Online Gaming Self-Governing Structure in India

Under this new structure, gaming platforms would need government approval to register a self-regulation body. Such government approval would involve a government-nominated member with a background in public policy disciplines, law enforcement, or public finance. Designated approval members could also come from psychology, medicine, or consumer education. Part of the self-regulatory notice read:

“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.”

Following the issuance of yesterday’s notice, the Ministry of Electronics and IT invited public comments on the draft rule by January 17th. Consultations on the draft begin next week, with the final rules expected by early February. Furthermore, gaming startups, companies, and investors are all expected to participate in these discussions.

The draft amendments also advocate for the appointment of a chief compliance officer by companies. According to the document, this appointment would ensure law conformity and user identity verification before creating an online gaming account.

India’s call for oversight of its online gaming industry comes amid growing concern that its proliferation is wreaking havoc. There have already been reported cases of addiction, financial loss, and some instances of suicide – particularly among young people.

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