India should create a regulatory body to classify online games as based on skill or chance, introduce rules to block prohibited formats and take a stricter stance on online gambling, a government panel said in a report seen by new agency Reuters.
The much-awaited report is seen as shaping the future of the mobile gaming industry in India, estimated to reach USD 5 billion by 2025, from USD 1.5 billion currently.
Here are some of the highlights of the panel’s proposed regulatory framework recommendation in its draft report:
-The federal government should consider enacting a separate law to regulate online gaming as a “long-term measure”. As an “interim measure”, until such a new law is enacted, the industry can be regulated through rules drafted under India’s existing IT law.
-India’s IT ministry would act as the central ministry for online gaming, except for e-sports and games of chance.
-Any new legal framework should apply to both real money and free games of skill, including esports, online fantasy sports, card games and such other casual games that may impose a significant impact. The rules would apply to both gaming companies in India and those operating outside but targeting Indian users.
-Creation of a regulatory body for the online gaming industry, which among other things will determine what qualifies as a game of skill and certify different gaming formats.
-Inclusion of provisions for a “Code of Ethics” for the gaming publishers; have due diligence of online gaming platforms, including a robust grievance redressal mechanism and mandatory know-your-customer norms.
-Any online gaming platform offering real money online games to Indian users should have a legal entity incorporated under Indian law. Provide blocking powers for the government to deal with unregistered online gaming platforms.
-Have a three-tier dispute resolution mechanism, consisting of gaming platforms, self-regulatory organizations of gaming platforms and an oversight committee led by an appropriate ministry.