The government has put forward a proposal for a self-regulatory mechanism that includes mandatory player verification and the requirement of a physical Indian address for online gaming companies. This proposal is outlined in the draft online gaming rules that were published on Monday. These rules will cover online gaming platforms under the new IT rules that were issued in 2021 for social media platforms.
In order to operate, online gaming platforms will need to adhere to the laws of the country, including any laws relating to gambling, betting, or the age at which an individual is legally able to enter into a contract.
“The objective of the draft amendments is to address these requirements while promoting responsible growth in the online gaming industry,” stated the notice.
According to the draft amendments, online gaming intermediaries will be required to exercise due diligence as outlined in the rules. This includes making reasonable efforts to ensure that their users do not host, display, upload, publish, transmit, or share any online games that do not comply with Indian law, including laws on gambling or betting.
Under the proposed rules, online gaming companies will not be permitted to engage in betting on the outcome of games. The minister emphasized that all legal online gaming activities must be registered with a self-regulatory organization that will be accountable to the online gaming rules.
“According to the principles set forth in the rules, wagering on the outcome of games will not be allowed. All online gaming companies must register with the self-regulatory body, which will determine the necessary actions as per the rules,” stated the minister.
The draft rules require companies to display a registration mark on all online games that are registered with a self-regulatory body. They must also inform users of their policies regarding withdrawal and refund of deposits, the determination and distribution of winnings, fees, charges, and the KYC procedure for user account registration.
“Self-regulatory bodies will be registered with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and may register online games of online gaming intermediaries who are members and meet specific criteria. These bodies will also address complaints through a grievance redressal mechanism,” explained the notice.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT has invited public comments on the draft rule, which will be accepted until January 17.
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