Regulation of Online Gaming

Regulation of Online Gaming

#GS-02 Governance, #GS-03 Cyber Security

For Prelims

Online Game

  • Online game a game that is offered on the internet and is accessible by a user through a computer resource if he makes a deposit with the expectation of earning
  • Presently India has the second largest number of gamers next to South Korea.

Legal status of Online gaming in India

  • Since Gambling has been a state subject, online gaming was also considered a state subject.
  • However, state governments are finding it extremely difficult to enforce certain rules like geo-blocking certain apps or websites within the territory of a particular state.
  • Hence, in its report titled Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including in Cricket in India in 2018 said its possible to make a central law on the subject.
  • This is because they take place over the internet, and entry 31 of the Constitution’s union list covers telephones, wireless, broadcasting and other similar forms of communication.
  • Thus, government of India has proposed a self-regulatory mechanism which, in future, may also regulate the content of online gaming.
  • This has been done with the aim to ensure that online games are in conformity with Indian laws and to safeguard users against potential harm.

Proposed Rules

  • The game operators have the responsibility to verify users on the platform and provide them with the terms of services.
  • Operators would also have to inform the user about the policies related to withdrawal or refund of their deposit, measures taken for its protection, the manner and distribution of winnings and the fees and other charges to be paid by the user.
  • They would also need to be informed about the risk of potential financial loss and addiction associated with the game.
  • Repeated warning messages should be given to the user if they exceed a reasonable duration while playing a certain game in order to combat addiction.
  • The platform would have to verify a game from the self-regulatory body it is associated with, before hosting or publishing
  • It would also be required to carry a registration mark on all its recognised online games.
  • The platform is expected to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who would have the responsibility of coordinating with the law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with their orders or requisitions.
  • Further, it must have an appropriate mechanism for receipt and resolution of grievances in place.
  • The complainant must be able to track the status of the same using a unique ticket number.
  • MeitY is given the responsibility of recognising all self-regulated bodies under the proposed framework.