India moves forward with rules for self-regulation of online games

Draft rules to regulate online games is open to public consultation until January 17.
Draft rules to regulate online games is open to public consultation until January 17.

India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT plans to discuss the draft gaming rules that prohibit wagering on online games.

India.- The draft rules presented by the Indian government to regulate online games, which is open to public consultation until January 17, include strict provisions against gambling, and prohibiting online games that allow wagering, is going to be discussed in a meeting with the parent-teacher associations (PTA) and school.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology (MeitY) also plans to meet non-government associations, policy groups, as well as doctors, including psychologists. During all the meetings, a discussion regarding various aspects of online gaming is expected, including limiting gaming hours for children.

“We are also looking at the larger issue of addiction. While we have asked the industry to take the lead and form a self-regulatory organization (SRO)to deal with these issues for now, we will need laws to deal with violations. These inputs will be considered when drafting the Digital India Act,” a senior government official told ET.

The amendments released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology aim to “ensure that online games should be offered in conformity with Indian laws and that the users of such games be safeguarded against potential harm.”

Briefing reporters, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said: “The rules are simple – we would like the online gaming ecosystem to expand and grow and be an important catalyst to India’s One trillion dollar Digital economy goal by 2025-26. We also envision a bigger role for startups in the online gaming industry.”

The Minister said that the ministry had moved swiftly in framing the policy thanks to a series of meetings and consultations conducted by MeiTY with stakeholders. Chandrasekhar said draft proposes a self-regulatory mechanism that, in future, may also regulate the content of online games to ensure they do not have violent, addictive or sexual content.

See also: India: Chhattisgarh Assembly passes bill to prohibit online gambling

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