Explainer: Govt Releases Rules For Online Gaming; What Are New Changes?


New Delhi: The Ministry of Electronics and Inforamtion technology (MeitY) has notified rules regarding online gaming under the Information Technology Act, 2000 that aims to keep check on the emerging gaming industry and rein in apps and platforms for online gaming. These rules on online gaming (Intermediary guidelines and digital media ehtics code rules, 2021) have been amended in IT Act, 2000. Central government also cleared the term of Online gaming, meaning “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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Let’s try to understand the new rules for online gaming in simple terms:

Creation of Self-Regulatory Bodies (SROs) For Online Gaming

The Ministry has notified to create ‘online gaming self-regulatory body’ which means there is an entity designated to check on online gaming platforms. Initially, three self-regulatory organisations are being notified by the government. 

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What will they do?

They have the responsbillity to decide if the particular online gaming platform is being allowed to carry on operations or not depending the real money. “Permissible online games are those games, real money or otherwise, that do not involve wagering, user harm in its content and do not create any addictive consequences for children,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology said.

These SROs will include vetern gamers, industry experts, educationist, psychologist, communication expert and other stakeholders and not the government.

How many SROs will the Government create?

The Ministry, as per rules, can designate as many online gaming self-regulatory bodies as it amy consider necessary for the purposes of verifying an online real money game as a permissible online real money game under these rules.  

What will be the basis of declaring online games permissible or not?

These SROs will decide which online real money game be deemed permissible depending on several factors:

If Online real money game doesn’t involve wagering on any outcome,

If the intermediary and such online games is in compliance with the rules 3 and 4 of amended IT Act, 2000.

How users will know if the particular intermediary is verified?

Online real money game verified and online gaming intermediary will have to display a demonstrable and visible mark of such verification stating that the online real money game is verified by the onlinen gaming sefl-regulatory body as a permissible onlie real money game under these rules.

Games involving real money will need to comply with KYC norms as per the rules. 


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