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Centre moots self-regulatory body for online gaming, industry hails move

“The draft amendments are aimed at addressing the said need while enabling the growth of the online gaming industry in a responsible manner,” said a ministry notice. The government has invited public comments on the draft rules for online gaming by January 17.

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday proposed a self-regulatory body for online gaming which would be registered with the Ministry of Electronics and IT, as part of the IT (Intermediary Rules and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

“The draft amendments are aimed at addressing the said need while enabling the growth of the online gaming industry in a responsible manner,” said a ministry notice. The government has invited public comments on the draft rules for online gaming by January 17.

“As per the principles laid under the rule, wagering on the outcome of a game will not be allowed. All online gaming companies will have to register with the self-regulatory body that will decide on the action required to be taken as per the rules,” Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said.

The minister expects the online gaming rules to be ready by next month.

E-Gaming Federation CEO Sameer Barde said that the self-regulatory body would ensure a robust time-bound grievance redressal mechanism, registration of online gaming intermediaries, promoting responsible gaming through age verification, and rigorous KYC process, and undertake safeguard measures against addiction, financial distress, etc.

“Overall, we feel, these moves will eventually help the government establish a regulated and sustainable industry while promoting responsible gaming,” Barde said in a statement. Last month, MeitY was appointed as the nodal ministry for regulating online gaming and intermediaries.

“We are grateful to the government for acknowledging the long-standing need of the gamers and the online gaming industry. We believe this is a great first step for comprehensive regulation for online gaming,” All India Gaming Federation CEO Roland Landers said. These rules will go a long way in ensuring consumer interest while helping the industry grow responsibly and transparently, he said. “These rules will also be a start in curbing the menace of anti-national and illegal offshore gambling platforms,” said Landers.

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