A group of 40 esports companies have written to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in India requesting regulatory distinction between video and online games. The companies would like to see frameworks that define regulations between video games and online games. Stakeholders say that clarity is required when it comes to the video game industry so that video and real money games can be classified separately.
The Ministry is proposing a reform to regulate the Indian online gaming sector. A spokesman for the Ministry said, “We will fail in our duty if we do not highlight that video games and online games played for stakes are distinct products, industries, ecosystems and subject matters for regulation. We hope that MeitY and all other regulators would appreciate the nuances and treat them so appropriately.”
The proposed reforms to the information technology guidelines and digital media ethics code will be an amendment to the existing regulatory framework. The Government invited comments on the draft rules from the general public with a deadline of 17 January 2023. A detailed analysis on the draft amendment will follow. The gaming industry is proposing setting up independent self-regulatory bodies for video and online games to create a framework that addresses player protection.
Draft rules proposed also cover games in which the winnings are payable in kind. The reform requires all online games to be registered with the self-regulating body that will be formed under the new amendment. A detailed analysis on the draft amendment will follow suit from our end.
India’s gaming industry is valued at $930 million and is ranked number one in the world. The country has over 560 million registered internet users and is the the second largest internet consumer globally.
The government is projecting online gaming to reach US$1.9 billion by year end 2024. Over the last two years online gaming grew by 28 percent.