NLU-Delhi report on online gaming regulation to be submitted to MeitY soon

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Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has shifted gears from the idea of a self-regulatory body for online gaming, considering instead the incorporation of an independent regulator. This proposed regulator would restrict e-gaming services to registered entities within the country.

As reported by the Economic Times, the National Law University (NLU) Delhi, in collaboration with the E-Gaming Federation (EGF), is engaging with industry stakeholders to chart the course for future gaming regulations.

Raghav Pandey, an assistant professor at NLU, confirmed these efforts, stating that the institution is currently facilitating roundtable discussions to gather insights from various stakeholders regarding the framing of regulations.

Acknowledging the necessity of regulations for the industry’s operation, Pandey emphasized the importance of striking a balance between growth and regulation. He stressed the significance of collaborative consultation processes and thorough research to address pertinent issues requiring regulation.

Previously, the government had proposed the establishment of self-regulatory bodies (SRBs) for gaming under the IT Rules 2023. However, concerns arose regarding the potential influence of major players on these bodies, leading MeitY to abandon the idea in early 2024.

India’s online gaming sector has been advocating for self-regulation to clarify permissible gaming practices, distinct from gambling. Companies such as Dream11, Mobile Premier League, Deltatech Gaming, Nazara, and Games24x7, facing issues like money laundering and high taxation, are keen for regulatory guidelines.

Anuraag Saxena, CEO of E-Gaming Federation, acknowledged the industry’s contribution to India’s digital economy, noting its $3-billion market size, with 80% of revenue stemming from real-money platforms. Saxena cited a report by Winzo Games, indicating India’s growth as a gaming market in 2023, with 568 million gamers and over 9.5 billion gaming app downloads.

Expressing appreciation to the government for acknowledging the sector’s need for regulatory clarity, Saxena emphasized that favorable policies would encourage responsible growth, ensure consumer protection, uphold ethical standards, and address societal concerns effectively.