Meity to hold consultation with gaming industry companies and bodies on January 17 in New Delhi

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On January 2, 2023, less than a week after being named the nodal ministry for online gaming, the Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) unveiled the draft rules for public consultation that would amend the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 to regulate online gaming.

As part of it, MeitY recently finished consulting with parents, students, and educators. Now, it is understood that it will be holding a consultation with gaming industry companies and bodies on Tuesday, January 17 at 11:30 am at Juniper Hall, Indian Habitat Centre, New Delhi to discuss the draft amendments in the same manner as they did with gamers and esports players earlier.

The draft rules envision an online gaming intermediary abiding by the rules while performing its duties, including making reasonable efforts to prevent its users from hosting, displaying, uploading, publishing, transmitting, or sharing an online game that is in violation of Indian law, including any law pertaining to gambling or betting.

MeitY consulted with parents, students, and educators on the draft rules for online gaming on January 11. At the conference, educators urged Minister of State (MoS), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, to ensure that the proposed self-regulatory organisation (SRO) “operates at an arm’s length from the industry” and to establish “objective criteria” to avoid procedural abuse by the industry.

Chandrasekhar gave the assurance that the SRO will have “equitable representation” from all industry participants. He added that the government will give the SRO’s projected requirements, as specified by its board, its approval.

“We are going by the principle of accountability and transparency. The government will certainly not allow the industry to hijack the SRO. Gamer representatives there hold as much importance and sway on SRO’s conduct as does the NCPCR representative or the NCW representative or the gaming industry representative or the government representative,” Chandrasekhar said.