UKIBC makes submission to MeitY on Information Technology Rules affecting Online Gaming industry

By UK India Business Council (UKIBC)

On 24 January, UKIBC made a formal submission to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on the draft amendment to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 proposing new regulations for the online gaming industry. The UKIBC earlier attended a stakeholder consultation that was held by MeitY on 17 January in Delhi.

In our submission, UKIBC proposed a number of key recommendations including on the need for clarity in definitions and wider governance related provisions of the draft Rules, that center on enabling certainty and ease of doing business.

The submission builds on our earlier ‘Gaming for Growth‘ report in which we made five overarching recommendations:
1. Legalise and regulate the gaming market across India, particularly sports betting, in line with the Law Commission’s 2018 recommendations;
2. The online gaming market spans the entirety of India. Therefore, the regulations for governing the sector should be determined by the Centre while the right to decide whether to permit gaming may be retained by states;
3. Bring out clear and effective regulations, drawing on international best practice, that help foster and encourage responsible gambling and gaming;
4. Draft game-neutral regulations i.e., applying to the wide variety of gaming that exist online and across the sporting world;
5. Legislations seeking to ban ‘online games of skill’ have been held as unconstitutional by the Indian Courts (?) reaffirming they are a business activity. Any upcoming regulations for the sector should therefore, move away from prohibition towards constructive governance.

We will continue to work with our members and the Government of India to help shape an optimal and responsive regulatory framework for online gaming in India.

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