Finalisation of draft online gaming rules underway, will be notified soon: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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Minister of State for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Rajeev Chandrasekhar recently spoke on the upcoming Draft rules on online gaming during the Times Network India Digital Fest. Chandrasekhar revealed that the rules are ready after recent consultations and are currently being reviewed and will be released soon.

Chandrasekhar said, “Our approach or response to a sector is not based on comfort or discomfort as much as harm legality and illegality. The basic principle is that online gaming represents platforms in the sense who are operating on the internet, and we will certainly make it very, very difficult and certainly illegal for any wagering to happen on these games.”

On 2 January 2023, Chandrasekhar released the draft rules for online gaming for public consultation. The rules consisted of several major steps to be taken in order to regulate the online gaming sector properly.

These included the proper due diligence from online gaming intermediaries, establishing a self-regulatory body, proper withdrawal and refund policies and mandating the KYC procedure for user account registration.

Throughout the consultations, the minister met with several gamers, industry stakeholders, parents, teachers, and online gaming companies for their opinion and feedback on the draft online gaming rules.

Chandrasekhar also made it clear that no industry body will be allowed to form a self-regulatory organization. He said, “We are going by the principle of accountability and transparency. The government will certainly not allow the industry to hijack the SRO.”

MeitY extended the deadline to allow everyone to review and submit their preferred improvements to the draft online gaming rules. Several industry leaders lauded the move from the government to work on their universal rules to regulate the online gaming sector and submitted their own views and improvement to it.