MeitY releases Draft amendments to the IT Rules, 2021 in relation to online gaming

OV Digital Desk

For public consultations, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has released draft amendments to the IT intermediary rules 2021 pertaining to online gaming.

To make sure online games are in compliance with Indian laws and users are protected from possible harm, the draft was drafted.

Last week, on 26th December, the Government notified changes to the Allocation of Business rules designating Meity to handle online gaming concerns. On 2nd January, a week after the draft rules were released, the Ministry released the rules for public comment.

According to Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, “The rules are simple – we want the online gaming ecosystem to grow and expand and be an important catalyst for India’s goal to build a trillion-dollar digital economy by 2025.” Online gaming startups will play a bigger role, too”.

Minister said the Ministry framed the policy quickly because it had conducted a series of meetings/consultations with stakeholders before drafting it. The Ministry will hold another set of public consultations soon to finalize the policy.

He said the draft proposes a self-regulatory mechanism that, in the future, could regulate the content of online gaming to make sure it doesn’t have violent, addictive, or sexual content.

As of now, the age-gating policy is set at 18 years of age, and we want to keep it that way and see if the present framework can be used to expand the innovation ecosystem around online gaming while keeping it safe and trusted for consumers.

According to the Minister, about 40 to 45 percent of Indian gamers are women, which makes the safety of the gaming ecosystem even more important.

There are strict provisions against betting and wagering in the draft rules. Online games that let you bet on the outcome should be avoided, he said.