Government Panel Calls for Regulatory Body and New Law for Online Gaming

The Central Government panel appointed for drafting regulations for the country’s online gaming sector has submitted its draft report that calls for a new central law on online gaming and a regulatory body under India’s IT Ministry for compliance and enforcement.

Despite gambling being a state subject, the report noted that illegal offshore betting and gambling websites popular among Indians would be dealt with under the law as they would apply to free and pay-to-play skill games.

The report also mentioned the newly proposed Digital India Act, which will be tasked with prohibiting games of chance like gambling websites and applications that harm users’ mental and financial health.

A few other highlights from the proposed regulatory framework are:

  • Long-term measure – a separate law to regulate online gaming. Interim measure – the industry is to be regulated through rules drafted under India’s existing IT law.
  • IT ministry would act as the central ministry for online gaming, except for e-sports and games of chance.
  • Rules applicable to both gaming companies in India and those operating outside but targeting Indian users.
  • Code of Ethics for the gaming publishers, due diligence of online gaming platforms, KYC and grievance redressal mechanism.
  • Platforms offering real-money online games to Indian users should have a legal entity incorporated under Indian law.
  • Three-tier dispute resolution mechanism consists of a gaming platform, self-regulatory organizations of gaming platforms and an oversight committee.