Indian Government Looking To Set up Online Gaming Regulatory Body
A panel set up under Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that includes the heads of the revenue and sports ministries has recommended creating a regulatory body to classify online games that are based on skill or chance. A regulatory body being in place could possibly differentiate competitive or casual games from ones that involve Real Money Gaming. Asia Gaming Brief that the online gaming sector regulations were being drafted for months.
Regulatory body will help create a distinction between traditional games and real money games
Online gambling apps are falling under scrutiny and some Indian states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala are looking to ban games like rummy entirely. Competitive online gaming and real-money gaming apps often get thrown into the same pool and the latter manage to escape scrutiny.
The introduction of a regulatory body will create rules around Real Money Gaming and build a distinction between traditional online competitive games and applications like Dream 11, Winzo, and MPL.
The new proposal:
With $1.7 Billion USD being generated by India’s gaming sector in the last 17 months and 400 gaming startups being created, the regulatory body will help oversee the gaming industry in India as well as other companies that have an Indian audience.
The proposal wants the central government to consider enacting a separate law to regulate online gaming. Online gaming, excluding esports and games of chance, should fall under the Union IT Ministry according to the latest proposal.
The new rules should apply to both real money and free games of skill, covering esports, online fantasy sports, card games and other casual games. If the proposal is accepted, the rules would apply to Indian companies as well as foreign companies with Indian players.
The panel has also recommended that the Indian government should have blocking powers to deal with unregistered online platforms.
A three-tier dispute resolution mechanism will also be in place if the proposal is accepted. This will encompass gaming platforms, self-regulatory organizations of gaming platforms, and an oversight committee led by an applicable government Ministry.
The IT Ministry is yet to finalize the report but it will be completed upon receiving further comments from the panel members. Games of skill will continue to fall under Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution as they do not fall under ‘gambling’ but games of chance will fall under the new regulations if they are accepted.