Online Gaming Content, Online ads to fall under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

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Another change has occurred in the ongoing shift in the online gaming industry, with centre assigning content providers for online gaming services and online advertisements under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B Ministry).

As per the Gazette notification issued Monday, July 31, President Draupadi Murmu has stated that “films and Audio-Visual programmes/content made available by online content providers/publishers would be brought under I&B Ministry”.

The word ‘providers’ in entry 22A in the Second Schedule of the AoB rules is replaced by ‘providers/publishers’ in the new Gazette notification. With this, the I&B Ministry have received the power to regulate online advertisements and gaming content platforms policies.

A senior official said, “This will lead to coverage of online gaming content and online advertising. This covers all online advertising. We can amend the Information Technology rules now.”

I&B Ministry had already been working on keeping the advertisement for these gaming companies in check and had previously released advisories for advertisement platforms directing them to refrain from promoting illegal platforms.

The move comes soon after the GST council decided on a new tax rate for online gaming, casinos and horse racing. During the 50th GST council meeting, the members deliberated on the report submitted by a group of ministers (GoM) and concluded the tax rate at 28% on total face value.

Moving forward, online, actual money gaming companies will now have tax on full face value. The decision to levy the tax on the initial cost of each game played will be decided during the Council meeting on August 2.

Furthermore, the gaming company advertisements will also be made according to the policies created by the I&B Ministry.