EPWA follows industry bodies, files SRB application with MeitY

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In a recent development, it has been understood that different bodies from the online gaming industry sent three applications with Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for forming a self-regulatory body (SRB) for governing the industry.

Esports Players Welfare Association (EPWA) became the third industry body to file an application with the MeitY to constitute an SRB. Notably, the E-Gaming Federation (EGF), the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) and the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) had already filed two applications.

The government had initially planned to form three SRBs and monitor their functioning and assessing if there is any need for multiple SRBs. Earlier, MeitY even warned that if they do not receive application before the deadline of July 6, it will form its own SRO.

Very recently, MeitY also stated that it will take at least three months to form an SRO, given its structural changes and a shift in focus towards the data protection bill. Notably, MeitY Ex-Additional Secretary Amit Agrawal recently joined as the Chief Executive Officer at Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

Industry in talks with MeitY to form SRO at the earliest

An executive from an online gaming firm said, “The industry had been engaging with MeitY informally on the structure of the SROs, so that the notification can happen at the earliest,” as reported by The Economic Times.

Previously, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) also stepped up to ally for the role of an SRO, but was met with opposition by online gaming firms due to conflict of interest. It is now believed that MeitY will take the call on online gaming SRBs within the above-mentioned period.

The AIGF CEO, Roland Landers, came ahead to state that the nation-wide gaming federation is fully committed to help its members. He also said that the industry is waiting for an SRO to be formed at the earliest, so that the online gaming sector in the country can grow exponentially.

As per the gaming rules, the SROs will be registered as legal entities under the Section 8 of the Companies Act. The SROs will act as the main regulating bodies for the Indian gaming sector and will approve the games that satisfy the new amendments to online gaming rules.

After the news of EPWA filing the SRB application, now the finalization of the GST rates for online gaming is eagerly awaited. The topic will be tabled at the GST Council’s 50th meeting, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 11.