Industry hails move to make MeitY as nodal ministry for online gaming

Authored by
Tue, 27/12/2022
Industry hails move to make MeitY as nodal ministry for online gaming
Image Credit

On Tuesday, business leaders praised the government's choice to designate the IT Ministry as the focal point for issues relating to online gambling.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology will now handle concerns relating to online gambling, according to a notice from the Center (MeitY).

A central regulating authority for the industry with a clear definition of what games of skill and chance are had been proposed in October by an inter-ministerial task force established by the MeitY to oversee online gambling.

According to Roland Landers, CEO of the All India Gaming Federation, "a unified central regulation for online skill gaming has been a long-standing demand of the industry, and this move will hopefully result in a progressive regulatory framework anchored by consumer welfare" (AIGF).

According to Joy Bhattacharjya, Director General of the Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), the nomination of MeitY as the primary regulating body will give investors, business, and consumers clarity and stability.

The choice is consistent with the government's plan to promote expansion of the animation, visual effects, gaming, and comic (AVGC) industry and turn India into a centre for online gaming.

"We are confident that, with MeitY's direction, the online gaming sector will expand responsibly, and the sector is looking forward to cooperating with MeitY to develop a well-balanced regulatory framework," Bhattacharjya added.

The sector applauded the Center's decision to have the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) oversee the regulation of esports during multi-sport competitions.

According to Landers, "this will finally result in the recognition of an India Esports Federation, better rules and procedures for selecting India teams for international competitions like the Asian Games, as well as better opportunities and facilities for our esports players on par with other sportspersons."

The Indian mobile gaming market is expected to generate more than $1.5 billion in revenue in 2022 and $5 billion by 2025.

In a written response to a query in the Rajya Sabha earlier this month, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar stated that regulations for the regulation of online gambling were in place.

The response had stated, "These rules cast specific obligations on intermediaries, including intermediaries providing online games, to exercise diligence and provide that if they fail to exercise diligence, they shall no longer be exempt from their legal liability for third-party information or data or communication links hosted by them."

The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gaming and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022, was not ratified this month by Governor R.N. Ravi of Tamil Nadu.

According to insiders in the gaming industry, the disputed gaming bill attempts to outlaw legal Indian gaming platforms while remaining quiet on how to manage the threat posed by international betting and gambling providers.