MeitY likely to introduce age verification mechanism and KYC norms for real money games

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A policy regarding age verification system and know-your-customer (KYC) norms are likely to be implemented for all real money games by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), according to Business Standard. It is expected to be released in the next two-three weeks as per the report.

The guidelines will be added to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, in order to address issues surrounding user safety and financial harm from real-money games. A person with knowledge of the matter said, the ministry may also recommend the creation of a self-regulatory organisation (SRO) for the online gaming industry.

According to a report by the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF), the country’s online real-money gaming business, which is currently valued at $2.2 billion, is expected to grow to $7 billion by FY26.

After fantasy sports, casinos, and card games became widely popular among young people and caused addiction, financial losses as well as suicides as per reports, the industry came under scrutiny from the authorities and a section of lawmakers.

In order to combat these ill effects, the plan regarding KYC was suggested. According to the source, “By introducing some form of age verification, the rules will deny users below the age of 18 years access to real-money games. This will be applicable to all games, chance-based or skill-based.”

Many of the industry stakeholders have urged the government to make a differentiation between games of skill and games of chance amidst the policy making. These businesses have argued that a game of chance is similar to gambling, whereas success in a game of skill depends on knowledge, training, focus, experience, and player skill. Since 1957, the Supreme Court has also consistently upheld this difference.

One of the sources added that as part of the regulation, gaming platforms would also be required to display a warning after a specific amount of usage in order to lower the risks of addiction. Safety standards for making deposits to and withdrawing money from gaming sites will be among the other key provisions.

With the new regulations, the roughly 900 gaming enterprises are expected to be subject to stricter regulatory scrutiny. Unicorn companies like, including MPL and Dream11, which boasts nearly 100 million users each will be among them.

An inter-ministerial task force was established by the central government in May 2022 to come up with regulations for the online gaming industry and to select a nodal ministry to oversee it.

Reuters reports that the panel suggested the creation of a new federal legislation on online gaming that would give the government regulatory flexibility, punitive provisions, and blocking authority over formats of games that are illegal.

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