Govt releases new rules for online gaming, puts ban on betting

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The government on Thursday released new rules for online gaming which prohibit any game that involves betting and wagering, and entail a framework of multiple self-regulatory organisations (SROs).

There will be multiple SROs, and these SROs will have participation from all the stakeholders including but not limited to the industry. MeitY will allow multiple SROs to determine whether a real-money game is permitted or not.

These SROs will be responsible for declaring online games permissible on the basis of whether games offer wagering. The new rules define ‘online game’ as “a game that is offered on the internet and is accessible by a user through a computer resource or an intermediary”.

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The IT Ministry has passed the IT Rules, 2023 which mandates the establishment of a self-regulatory body for the registration & regulation of online gaming platforms as “intermediaries” which is defined as one that “offers one or more than one online game”.

Permissibility will be determined with the simple principle of whether wagering is involved and “if wagering is involved, the SRO will be in a position to say that those online games are not permissible.”
As per the final rules, the government will appoint multiple self-regulatory organisations (SROs) comprising industry representatives, educationists, and other experts such as child experts, psychology experts, etc. To begin with, the government will notify three SROs, but can add more later.

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