Draft Rules for Online Gaming: Online games must register with self-regulatory body, say draft rules

Source: The post is based on the article “Online games must register with self-regulatory body, say draft rules” published in The Hindu on 3rd January 2023

What is the News?

The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology(MeitY) has released draft rules for online gaming companies.

It has also proposed an amendment to bring online gaming within the ambit of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

What are the Draft Rules for Online Gaming?

Aim: 1) To safeguard users against potential harm from skill-based games, 2) To regulate online gaming platforms as intermediaries and place due diligence requirements on them and 3) To grow the online gaming sector and encourage innovation.

Key Provisions of the rules

Register with a self-regulatory body: Online games will have to register with a self-regulatory body and only games that are cleared by the body will be allowed to legally operate in India.

Composition of the self-regulatory body: The self-regulatory body will have a board of directors with five members from diverse fields including online gaming, public policy, IT, psychology and medicine. 

– The body must ensure that the registered online games don’t have anything which is not in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or incites the commission of any cognizable offence relating to the aforesaid.

– There could be more than one self-regulatory body and all of them will have to inform the Centre about the online games they have registered.

No betting on the outcome of the game: Online gaming companies will not be allowed to engage in betting on the outcome of a game.

Self-due diligence: Online gaming firms will be required to undertake additional due diligence, including KYC of users, transparent withdrawal and refund of money, and a fair distribution of winnings.

– They will also have to appoint a compliance officer who will ensure that the platform is following the norms, a nodal officer who will act as a liaison official with the government and assist law enforcement agencies and a grievance officer who will resolve user complaints.

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