Indian Govt plans independent regulator for online gaming

Indian Govt plans independent regulator for online gaming
Indian Govt plans independent regulator for online gaming ( Representational image)

The Indian government, led by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), has decided against forming a self-regulatory organization for online gaming. Instead, it is considering the establishment of an independent regulator. This regulator will ensure that only registered businesses can offer e-gaming services within India. The National Law University (NLU) Delhi and the E-Gaming Federation (EGF) are currently gathering opinions from those involved in the industry to decide the best course of action for gaming regulations.

NLU Delhi is in the process of organizing discussions with various stakeholders to shape the future of gaming regulations. According to Raghav Pandey, an assistant professor at NLU, the goal is to find a balance between industry growth and regulation. This balance can be achieved through joint discussions between the industry, stakeholders, regulators, and in-depth research on regulatory needs.

Previously, the government had suggested creating multiple self-regulatory bodies (SRBs) under the proposed IT Rules 2023 to oversee gaming companies’ operations. However, concerns arose that these SRBs might be biased towards major industry players, leading to the abandonment of this idea in early 2024.

The online gaming sector in India has been advocating for government regulation to clearly distinguish between allowable gaming activities and gambling. This push for regulation comes amidst challenges like money laundering scams and high taxation, which affect the business dynamics of real-money gaming companies such as Dream11 and Mobile Premier League.

India’s e-gaming industry, which is now worth $3 billion, largely benefits from real-money platforms. A recent report highlighted India’s leap over the US and Brazil, making it the world’s largest gaming market with 568 million gamers and over 9.5 billion gaming app downloads in 2023.

Anuraag Saxena, CEO of the E-Gaming Federation, expressed gratitude towards the government for recognizing the need for regulatory clarity in the sector. According to Saxena, proper regulations will promote responsible and sustainable growth in the online gaming industry, protect consumers, maintain ethical standards, and address societal concerns.