India’s online gaming industry receives new guidelines

The IT Ministry of India has introduced significant changes to the IT Rules, 2021 to ensure more control and clarity in the online gaming industry.
PUBG mobile game developersThe global market for online gaming is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 10.7 percent for the projected period of 2019-2029. The online gaming market’s value is predicted to increase to $450.8 billion by 2029 from $137.9 billion.

These amendments allow multiple self-regulatory organizations (SROs) to determine if a real-money game is permitted to operate within the country. The Ministry’s objective is to impose greater due diligence on online gaming and social media intermediaries regarding online games, as well as fake or misleading information related to government business.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, stated that online gaming presents a significant opportunity for India and its young population.

“We see the Indian online gaming ecosystem to expand and grow into a multi-billion dollar industry and be an important catalyst to India’s One trillion-dollar Digital economy goal by 2025-26, with very clear restrictions on online wagering and betting,” the minister said at a press conference.

Under the revised regulations, intermediaries are required to make reasonable efforts to refrain from hosting, publishing, or sharing any online game that may harm the user or that has not been verified as a permissible online game by an SRO designated by the Central government.

The regulations also prohibit online games or sites that involve wagering, including advertising or any form of presence. The industry’s participating SROs will be the core of the enabling framework that will certify permissible online games. Furthermore, MeitY will identify an agency to fact-check false and misleading information related to government business.

INDUSTRY RESPONSE

Sai Srinivas, CEO and Co-Founder, MPL, said that new online gaming rules is a watershed moment for the industry.

“The rules will go a long way in helping us realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for India to become a global leader in gaming and also contribute to the continued success of Brand India and Create in India,” Sai Srinivas said.

Roland Landers, CEO, All India Gaming Federation, said this is a decisive first step for comprehensive regulation for online gaming and, will propel the industry to compete globally.

“These rules will go a long way in promoting consumer interest while helping the industry grow responsibly and transparently and will also help in curbing the menace of anti-national and illegal offshore gambling sites, which have been proliferating in the last few years,” Roland Landers said.

Dilsher Singh Malhi, Founder and CEO of Zupee, said this is a very significant development for the online gaming industry, enabling gaming companies to be more responsible and innovative. Regulatory certainty will make this sector much more attractive for the investors and further accelerate the growth.

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