Online Gaming Industry to Take a U-Turn!

Online Gaming Industry
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The whispers of online gaming regulation are now coming to life. MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) has offered a draft amendment as of now. Let’s have a look at what the draft has to say.

What’s Happening?

There was a time when games were seen as a pass time, but today gaming companies have successfully become unicorns of India (startup companies with a value of over $1 billion). Yes, we have come a long way! 

In 2021, the worth of India’s overall gaming market was estimated to be Rs 13,600 crores. According to Statista, India is the sixth-largest gaming market in the world. undefined

Moreover, according to government data, India has the highest percentage of new paying users in the world in two consecutive years, 2021-2022. 

But the question arises how did India manage to reach new highs in the gaming industry? Well, that’s because games are addictive. Here is a scientific theory: When we see a reward worth chasing, our body produces dopamine to motivate us to finish the task. Hence, once you get the hang of a game, you tend to play it regularly.

In September 2022, the government proposed a regulatory framework, and we covered it in the article ‘ Online Gaming Segment Needs a Regulatory Framework ’. 

On 3rd January 2023, the government proposed to bring online real money gaming platforms under the regulation of MeitY. This is the same entity which regulates social media platforms. They have offered a draft amendment as of now. 

What are the Types of Games Covered in the Draft?

In September 2022, skill-based games were kept as a focus. But this time, real money games are in focus. This includes games in which participants have to deposit money and play. If they win, they earn a jackpot. 

New Proposed Rules of the Game

  • Suppose there is an intermediary that offers real money games on their platform. In that case, they have to publish a privacy policy, terms and conditions, and rules and regulations stating that no game allows gambling or betting on their platform. Moreover, they also have to state that the game involves financial risk and is addictive. 
  • The process must be transparent based on withdrawing money, refunds, how winners are chosen, etc. 
  • As the game involves money, the RBI KYC of each participant is a must. 
  • The website and app must display a certificate that the winners are randomly generated, and the games are played by participants, not by bots. 
  • Each company must have a grievance officer, a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person and a physical contact address in India.
  • If the participant has a complaint, there must be a grievance redressal mechanism.

What’s Next?

Regulating the gaming sector was one of the most awaited decisions. It is great to see that the government is making conscious steps in this direction. 

To date, many people have a view that online gaming is another form of gambling. But when regulations come into play, we may see a boom in this sector as people will establish trust in the system. 

According to Sai Srinivas, the co-founder of the Mobile Premier League (MPL), ‘A uniform framework will immensely increase investor confidence. While there has already been a steady inflow of investments within the gaming sector, we expect this to grow manifold in the coming years’. 

According to Mint, The final amendment of the IT rules after wise consultation will be notified in April. 

This will bring a ray of sunshine to the online gaming industry!

That’s it for today. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends.

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