Govt panel recommends regulatory body, new law for online gaming: Report
The Indian game industry with the current $1.5 billion market is estimated to grow to reach $5 billion by 2025. Experts believe that this much-awaited report will shape the future of the mobile gaming industry in India.
A recent draft report from a government panel has recommended Centre to tighten the regulatory framework governing online games. It has advocated for a stricter stance on online gambling by creating a regulatory body to differentiate online games, those based on pure chance to others requiring skills and also bring rules to block prohibited formats, Reuters reported.
The Indian gaming industry worth $1.5 billion is set to grow and reach $5 billion by 2025. Experts hope that this much-awaited report will shape the future of the mobile gaming industry in India.
Here are some of the highlights of the proposed draft report:
1. The report says the Centre should consider enacting a separate law to regulate online gaming as a “long-term measure". As the formulation and enactment of new law will take time, until then the industry can be regulated through rules drafted under India’s existing IT law.
2. Online gaming, excluding e-sports (video games played under competition by professional players) and games of chance, would come under the Union IT ministry, the report proposes.
3. The draft report proposes that rules should apply to both real money and free games of skill, covering e-sports, online fantasy sports, card games and such diverse casual games that may impose serious impact.
4. Both, the Indian gaming companies and the one operating outside but targeting Indian users would come under the ambit of new rules.
5. It advocates for creation of a regulatory body for the online gaming industry, which will also monitor what meets as a game of skill, and certify various gaming formats.
6. It recommends for incorporation of provisions for a “Code of Ethics” for the gaming publishers; have due diligence of online gaming platforms, consisting of a powerful grievance redressal mechanism and binding know-your-customer norms.
7. Any online gaming platform offering real money online games to Indian users should have a legal entity incorporated under Indian law, the report suggests. It has also recommended blocking powers for the government to deal with unregistered online gaming platforms.
8. It proposes for a three-tier dispute resolution mechanism; gaming platform, self-regulatory organisations of gaming platforms and an oversight committee led by an applicable ministry.
(With inputs from Reuters)