The rules for online gaming are expected to be finalised by early February, according to Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar.

Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar | image credit: News9live

Betting or gambling on the results of online games will not be allowed and online gambling gaming companies will have  to register with a self-regulatory organization to avoid such practises, the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said in a notification on Monday. The ministry has released draft rules for online gambling companies, which include provisions for self-regulatory mechanisms and player verification. The new IT rules, which will be issued in 2021 for social media platforms, will also apply to online gambling companies.


“Online gambling intermediaries will be allowed, but if they tend to cross over into the betting realm, they will not be allowed. We intend to stop the intermediaries from unauthorised advertising. Our job is to regulate the internet,” said Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekhar.

The minister said the rules for online gambling are expected to be finalised by early February. The notice said the rules were aimed at enabling the growth of the online gambling industry in a responsible manner.

“Self-regulatory bodies will be registered with the ministry and will be able to register online games of such online gambling facilitators who are their members and who meet certain criteria,” it said. These bodies will also resolve complaints through a grievance mechanism,” the release said.

According to Chandrashekhar, the Centre’s job is to ensure the safe and trusted operation of the internet, where online gaming intermediaries do not allow wagering on game outcomes.

It was previously reported that the Centre will levy a 28% Goods and Services Tax (GST) on the total amount, up from the current 18% on the online gaming industry’s Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), a service charge fee to facilitate players’ participation in the game. The country’s central government recently recognised e-sports alongside traditional sports.

Additional research

image credit: Forbes India

The new IT rules that aim to protect users from the potential harm of skill-based games as well as ensure that these games are provided in compliance with Indian law will have these rules introduced as draught amendments.

According to the amendments, online gaming intermediaries must exercise additional due diligence by including a registration mark on all online games that have been approved by a self-regulatory body and informing their users of their withdrawal or refund of deposit policies, how winnings are calculated and distributed, fees and other costs due, and their KYC process for user account registration.

Due to recent pandemic-induced home confinement, which has made Indian consumers more at ease spending money on mobile games, these draught regulations are released at a time when India’s gaming industry has experienced unheard-of growth in terms of app downloads and revenue.

However, a number of state governments, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, and Karnataka, have banned or attempted to ban skill-based real money gaming, which generates more than half of the industry’s revenue. This is because gambling is a state matter.

Many of these bans were later overturned after skill gaming startups and industry associations challenged them in state courts. The Supreme Court upheld fantasy sports as legal in July 2021

Views of the gaming industry on draft

image credit: MPL

These draught recommendations, according to Nazara Technologies CEO Nitish Mittersain, will “help to catalyse a lot of growth for the industry, which will result in significant job creation as well as accelerate India’s position on the global gaming map.”

Sai Srinivas, a co-founder of the Mobile Premier League, stated that these regulations are proof that “everyone worked together in engaging with the government, implementing user safeguards, and requested for a uniform regulation” in the gaming industry.

The rules will help India achieve the vision of being a global leader in online gaming, he added.


Jahnabi Chetry

💡 Socrates, Plato and Aristotle have inspired me to have a persistent desire for truth, reason and knowledge. I love nature and love reading about history, conspiracy theories, economics and the secret world that is ruling our lives. I watch documentaries, read books and travel a lot.


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