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Government Changes Rules Around Online Gaming Industry, Ban the Games that Involve Betting

According to the Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the government plans to create three self-regulatory organizations (SROs) that will be responsible for approving games that follow the regulations for operation within the country.

The Indian government announced new online gaming industry regulations on Thursday, prohibiting games that involve gambling or betting with real money. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and IT, stated that the government would create three self-regulatory organizations (SROs) responsible for approving games that adhere to the country’s operating regulations.

Chandrasekhar clarified that online games considered appropriate do not include real money betting or any content that could be harmful or addictive for children. The self-regulatory organizations (SROs) overseeing the online gaming industry in India will be representatives from the industry, gamers, and other relevant stakeholders, instead of being run by the government.

The regulations state that self-regulatory organizations (SROs) must include the following:

  • The individuals who are required to be part of the self-regulatory organizations under the new online gaming rules in India include a person with a background in education
  • A specialist in psychology or mental health
  • And an individual who has served as an officer or member of an organization focused on safeguarding the rights of children.

“This framework provides the necessary support to facilitate the substantial growth of the online gaming industry in India, which presents a huge opportunity”, stated Chandrasekhar.

The online gaming regulations were added to the IT Rules of 2021. The self-regulatory organization responsible for online gaming can determine whether an online game that involves real money is acceptable as long as it does not involve betting on any outcome.

Chandrasekhar declared that if any self-regulatory organization permits online games that include betting on the results of cricket matches, like the Indian Premier League, they will break the rules and lose recognition. Additionally, the SROs must publish a structure on their website to safeguard users from gambling addiction, monetary loss, and deceit.

According to Deepak Gullapalli, the Founder and CEO of Head Digital Works (A23), “This is the most favorable framework and the path forward for online gaming companies in India. With the newly established clarity, the industry will regain investors’ confidence, promoting its expansion and creating new career and economic prospects.”

Seven Indian states have banned online fantasy gaming platforms, citing worries about addiction and suicide among their inhabitants. Chandrasekhar asserted that any state making a genuine attempt to combat gambling or betting would discover that the regulations do not go beyond the scope of their efforts.

Dr. Subi Chaturvedi, who is the Global Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs and Public Policy Officer of InMobi Group, expressed that the new regulations will stimulate innovation, support the “Create in India” and “Brand India” initiatives, and provide significant momentum to India’s technology sector. The rules will facilitate the responsible and transparent expansion of the industry, ensuring the protection of consumer interests and restricting the spread of unlawful offshore gambling websites.

Games Banned that Promotes Betting with Real Money

Games Banned that Promotes Betting with Real Money
Games Banned that Promotes Betting with Real Money

The newly announced regulations for online gaming in India have a strict stance against games involving wagering or betting with real money. The rules aim to safeguard the interests of users, particularly children, and prevent addiction and harm caused by such games.

The regulations mandate establishing three self-regulatory organizations (SROs) that will oversee and regulate online gaming in the country.

These SROs will comprise industry experts, gamers, and other stakeholders rather than government officials, ensuring that they operate independently and in the public’s best interest.

The SROs must have members with expertise in various fields, such as education, psychology, mental health, and child rights, to ensure the protection and well-being of users. Additionally, they must post a framework on their websites to protect users against gambling addiction, financial loss, and fraud.

The rules also prohibit online games that involve betting on the outcome of cricket matches or any other event and any SRO that allows such games will be denotified.

The Indian government’s new guidelines have been welcomed by the online gaming industry, providing much-needed clarity and a uniform legal framework for the industry to operate. The regulations are seen as a positive turning point for the industry, as they distinguish online gaming intermediaries from gambling and allow for innovation and growth while safeguarding users’ interests.

This, in turn, is expected to boost investor confidence and lead to new career and economic opportunities for the country. The objective of the rules is to establish a dynamic and inventive industry that bolsters India’s digital economy, all the while encouraging responsible gaming behavior.

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Industry thanks government

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Sai Srinivas, the CEO, and co-founder of MPL stated that introducing the new online gaming regulations marks a crucial moment for the industry, as it acknowledges the difference between online gaming intermediaries and gambling.

These regulations are expected to significantly impact achieving the honorable Prime Minister’s goal of making India a leader in the gaming industry, as well as contributing to the continued success of “Brand India” and “Create in India”.

The standard legal framework created by these regulations will enhance investor confidence. The new regulations are anticipated to help decrease inconsistencies across states, promote a more secure business atmosphere, and eradicate gambling platforms, as noted by the respected minister.

Deepak Gullapalli, the Founder and CEO of Head Digital Works (A23), expressed that the introduction of new regulations by Meity for online real money games is a positive development for the industry. A clear definition of acceptable games and what constitutes real money will be essential in promoting the development of legitimate players in the industry.

This framework will provide the flexibility to innovate and operate freely while ensuring the necessary safety measures are in place to protect the users. Overall, it is the most desirable framework and the way forward for online gaming companies in India.

The industry’s renewed clarity on regulations will help it recover positive investor interest, which will result in its growth and the emergence of new career and economic opportunities. They are excited to work with the government to promote responsible gaming and build a thriving and innovative sector contributing to India’s digital economy.

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