Breaking: MEITY releases draft rules on online gaming for public comments

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The Ministry for Electronics and  Information Technology (MEITY) today released the draft rules proposing amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 to regulate online gaming. This comes less than a week after MEITY was designated as a nodal ministry for online gaming.

With the user base of online games growing in India, need has been felt to ensure that such games be offered in conformity with Indian laws and that the users of such games be safeguarded against potential harm,” read the press release by MEITY on the background of the draft amendments.

According to a press release, the draft amendments envisage that an online gaming intermediary shall observe the due diligence required under the rules while discharging its duties, including reasonable efforts to cause its users not to host, display, upload, publish, transmit or share an online game not in conformity with Indian law, including any law on gambling or betting.

As per the draft rules, the online gaming entities shall observe additional due diligence by displaying a registration mark on all online games registered by a self-regulatory body and informing its users regarding its policy related to withdrawal or refund of deposit, manner of determination and distribution of winnings, fees and other charges payable and KYC procedure for user account registration.

The online gaming intermediary is required to prominently publish on its website, mobile based application or both, a random number generation certificate and a no bot certificate from a reputed certifying body for each online game offered by it, along with relevant details of the same.

Self-regulatory bodies will be registered with MEITY and may register online games of such online gaming intermediaries who are its members and which meet certain criteria. Such bodies will also resolve complaints through a grievance redressal mechanism.