Online gaming companies against IAMAI’s proposal to form SRO

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Major online gaming companies like Games24x7, Dream11, Mobile Premier League (MPL) and Zupee are against the formation of a self-regulatory organization (SRO) by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

As per a report in The Economic Times IAMAI had approached these gaming companies informally, asking them to support its proposal for an SRO. In response, these companies said that they do not see the interests of IAMAI aligning with theirs and are already working together with specialized industry lobby groups to form SROs.

“After the draft rules were notified by the government, the IAMAI did approach us along with other leading names to form an SRO under them, but we have said no to this idea,” said one of the sources.

“Gaming firms had already distanced themselves from the Internet body over its comments to the MeitY that the draft rule ‘was right on intent but poor on scoping’. So, there is concern on alignments. Other gaming-focussed associations are in the process of finalising applications,” the source added.

IAMAI had previously claimed that they would be the best suited entity to form an SRO after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) announced that the online gaming sector will be regulated by SROs.

While not directly, MeitY rejected the proposal stating that they would not let companies and internmediaries hijack the SROs in any way and would work on supporting gaming startups in the country during a consultation meeting with industry stakeholders and experts.

Many of these gaming companies have also rejected the idea as they believe that IAMAI has failed to strike a balance and favours big tech firms. The gaming companies also demand a change in the leadership of the industry body.

According to the latest online gaming rules released by MeitY, SROs will need to include representatives from the industry, educationists, psychologists, child-rights protection activists, law enforcement officials, as well as a representative from the Centre.

Online gaming companies are now working with specialised industry bodies like E-Gaming Federation (EGF), All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) and Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) to form SROs according to the guidelines.

EGF recently stated that they would be able to set up an SRO by May-end. The SROs will be responsible for approving the games created by the online gaming companies with an aim to safeguard gamers and regulate the industry.