Breaking: MoS MeitY Rajeev Chandrasekhar announces notification of online gaming rules

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The Minister of State for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Rajeev Chandrasekhar, addressed a press conference today announced the notification of long awaited rules for online games. Broadly speaking, the rules are designed in order to safeguard players and regulate the industry.

As per the new rules if the game involves betting and wagering regardless of how the game is played or the content of it, the game will be in violation of the rules.

The minister said there will be multiple SROs that will deal with the real money gaming aspect, KYC norms for gaming companies and money laundering issues. He added that the online gaming economy is considered as one of the most important parts of the trillion dollar economy roadmap.

According to him the rules have been created to simplify the confusing legal framework for new startups that are emerging rapidly throughout the country. The rules strive to make a consistent and easy-to-understand framework.

Addressing the issues relating to censorship, the minister said that due diligence under Rule 3 states that the intermediaries have to take down the content reported by the aggrieved party if they wish to continue operating and enjoy safe harbor under Sec 79.

Under the new rules, any online gaming intermediary offering real money games is to display a verification mark acquired through SROs. Further, along with informing its users about the rules and regulations and privacy policy, the intermediary is also required to state the refund and withdrawal policies, follow proper KYC norms and implement proper measures for protection of deposit.

By publishing a notice in the Official Gazette, the Ministry may name as many SROs for online gaming as it would deem necessary for the purpose of confirming whether an online real-money game is permitted under the regulations.

Upon receiving a request regarding an online real money game, the SRO may determine if the game is permissible. The game should also not have any betting or wagering aspect to it.

A list of all the games that are legal and allowed by the SROs will also be listed on their websites or mobile-based applications or both. This list is required to be properly updated.