Draft online gaming regulation framed, pending before appropriate authority: Rajasthan government to High Court

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The Rajasthan Government has informed the High Court that it has drafted legislation to curb the menace of online gambling and betting and the matter is presently pending before the appropriate authority. The submission was made when the High Court sought the State government’s response to a PIL seeking direction to curb the menace of online betting and gambling.

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It may be noted that Rajasthan Government has prepared a draft to deal with the menace of Online Gambling namely the Rajasthan Virtual Online Sports (Regulation) Bill in May 2022. At that time, the State sought public responses to the draft law.

As per the draft law, a Virtual Online Sports Commission will be set up to regulate online gaming activities in the state. The offenders will face a penalty of up to Rs 2 lakhs for license and advertising violations. The draft law sought to regulate fantasy sports and esports, however, it does not include skill games such as Rummy, Poker, and Ludo.

Noting the submission of the government, the Court went disposed of the plea by making it open for the State to consider the matter: “We only place on record the statement of learned counsel for the State that State has prepared a draft bill and the matter is under consideration.”

Also read: Government aware of possible risks and harms associated with online games

The Esports Federation of India (ESFI) earlier raised questions on the inclusion of eSports and clubbing it with fantasy sports in the draft law. ESFI has termed this draft law as detrimental to the growth of esports in India. FIFS, the self-regulatory body for fantasy sports welcomed the draft law.

The state has seen gaming addiction-related suicides in recent times. Earlier, the Rajasthan government issued an advisory for parents and teachers suggesting measures to safeguard children from addiction to online gaming. The advisory issued by the Rajasthan Council of School Education detailed technical points which are helpful in monitoring the activities and involvement of the children in gaming.