E-Gaming Federation to establish SROs by May-end

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Online gaming industry body E-Gaming Federation (EGF) is in the process of forming self regulatory organizations (SROs) by May-end. As per the amendments to the IT Rules, 2021 SROs are required to be formed to regulate the industry and protect gamers.

According to the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) the SRO boards need to include representatives from the industry, educationists, psychologists, child-protection activists and law enforcement officials, as well as a representative from the Centre.

The need for having government representatives on the boards is a must according to the new online gaming rules. Speaking to The Hindu Businessline, secretary of E-Gaming Federation, Malay Kumar Shukla, said that the process of incorporating the SROs under Section 8 is under way and should complete around May-end.

The SROs will be responsible for approving new games while also regulating the online gaming sector. The regulation will cover proper oversight over online gaming companies and games provided by them, gamers and their safety, advertisers, and infrastructure.

Games released by online gaming companies should also follow proper guidelines. They should not have any wagering aspect and should be skill-based. Shukla said, “For now, there will not be a disruption as gaming operators offer skill-based gaming, but SROs will regulate adherence for future launches.”

The SROs will also be able to handle matters relating to states banning legitimate games that have already been ruled as games of skill. With states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala banning online gaming the SROs can initiate legal proceedings with concerned agencies.

Furthermore, the SROs will also strive to create awareness of the importance of responsible gaming. EGF has previously launched a campaign in this regard called ‘Asli Gamers’. As of now, over 2.3 lakh gamers are a part of Asli Gamers in India. EGF has partnered with cricketer Shubman Gill and rapper Naezy to prompt the campaign.