Centre to introduce new law or policy regarding online gaming soon: Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

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According to Business Standard, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday (December 18) stated that the government would formulate a proper policy or new law regarding online gaming given its effects on society.

Vaishnaw, who oversees the Railways, Communications, and Information Technology ministries, told that he held a meeting with the Information Technology (IT) ministers of all the states recently who were also concerned by the effects of online gaming.

Every state has expressed deep concern about the negative effects that online gaming is having on society, especially the addictive aspect of it. People are becoming addicted and acting in strange ways that go against social standards, which is hurting social cohesion, according to Vaishnaw.

According to Vaishnaw, they have started a serious engagement process with all parties involved. “We will soon be able to develop an appropriate strategy, which may even call for a new legislation or regulation,” he said.

Vaishnaw added that the Data Bill and Digital India Bill are being formulated by the Centre. He asserted that the Data Bill has received positive feedback and will be used as a model by other countries.

Recently, MoS Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar also stated that the government is aware of ill-effects of online gaming. In his written response to questions raised in Lok Sabha Chandrasekhar said, “The Government is aware of the possible risks and challenges associated with the online games including that of violence abetting video games, addiction to it, and consequential financial loss.”

Chandrasekhar further stated that the IT Act 2000 has made the Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 which cast specific obligations on intermediaries.

In a relief for gamers, Chandrasekhar said that there is currently no plan to limit game time of children under 18 years for online gaming like China.