IAMAI claims it is best suited to form self-regulatory organisation for online gaming sector

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Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) claimed on Friday, December 30 that it would be the ideal entity to create any suggested Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) for online gaming.

IAMAI stated that the government’s move to make the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as the nodal ministry related to online gaming is indicative of the fact that the government wants to encourage the sector’s growth in a controlled and orderly manner, along with the establishment of appropriate institutional channels for resolving consumer complaints.

In a statement on the same day, IAMAI said, “The association was responding to two recent developments. First under the rules of business notified on December 26, 2022, vide which the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology was made responsible for formulating rules and regulations for online gaming, and second, media reports that the ministry was working on creating an SRO for the online gaming sector.”

Speaking on the topic, President at IAMAI, Subho Ray said that, IAMAI is the best suited entity to set up and manage the online gaming SRO given the association’s practical experience managing an SRO for online curated content companies that was mandated and registered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting as well as another industry-driven SRO with support from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

“Also, given our wide range of membership in the online games of skill segment, we would be able to pull various types of skill-based online gaming firms into the SRO,” Ray added, as quoted by Zee Business.

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar had recently revealed that MeitY would soon reveal the draft rules for online gaming intermediaries and start public consultation on the same and about a week later on January 2, 2023, MeitY released them proposing amendments to the Information Technology Rules, 2021.

According to the draft rules online gaming entities would need to display a registration mark on all online games registered by a self-regulatory body.

Informing the users about policy related to withdrawals or refunds along with distribution of winnings, fees and other charges payable along with KYC procedure for user account registration are also required.

Meity also said that the SROs will be registered with them and also resolve complaints through a grievance redressal mechanism. All these regulations impose a special duty of vigilance on intermediaries, including those who provide online gaming services.