Legalise sports betting, have Pan-India regulations: UKIBC in submissions to Meity

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With the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) extending the deadline for giving feedback on draft online gaming rules, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) has now made a formal submission on the proposed draft amendment to the Information Technology Rules, 2021, on January 24.

To promote certainty and convenience of doing business, UKIBC made a number of important recommendations, including the need for clarity in definitions and other governance-related elements in the draft rules.

Adding on to their earlier recommendations, the organization made five new recommendations, which included the legalization and regulation of the gaming market across India, particularly sports betting.

UKIBC also suggested that since the gaming market includes the entirety of India, the Center should establish the industry’s rules. At the same time, states should maintain the freedom to decide whether to enable gambling.

The regulations should be clear and effective, along with working on international best practices for online gaming. The regulations should also encourage responsible gaming and focus to make the regulations to be neutral across a variety of gaming, i.e., all the games that require skill or chance are to be regulated equally.

All the legislation that seeks to ban online games of skill is unconstitutional by the Supreme Court under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution. Therefore, UKIBC suggests any future rules for the industry should shift from prohibition to effective governance.

Along with all the recommendations, UKIBC said they would keep collaborating with the Indian government to create an effective and flexible regulatory environment for online gaming in India.

Most of the recommendations made by the UKIBC are also following the same gist of what most of the gaming industry currently wants with the upcoming rules to regulate online gaming. The finalization of the draft online gaming rules is expected by early February.