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India Sets New Rules To Regulate Online Gambling

Posted on January 11, 2023 | 6:15 am

The Indian government has released a new set of rules which are designed to regulate the online gambling sector in the country, establishing a string of self-regulatory bodies which should oversee the industry.

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT published the new rules as amendments to the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code in order to address online gambling in the country.

Now the amendments will be publicly debated with stakeholders and the general population, a process that will remain open until 17 January. Then, the government will take suggestions into account and go forward with the implementation of the new legislation.

The new rules define an online game as “any game played via the internet” which requires a player to make a deposit “with the expectation of earning winnings”. If necessary, the Indian government stipulated that it may need to declare certain games to be covered by the rules. Moreover, the amendments note that any online game offered to the public must not be in violation of any existing laws, including state-wide gambling bans.

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Self-Regulatory Bodies

Instead of establishing a government regulator for the industry, the Ministry’s amendments propose the creation of self-regulatory bodies, which would be made up of online gaming businesses. This way, the industry itself would create the rules for online gambling.

However, the board of such a regulatory body must include “an independent eminent person” which should come from the field of online gaming, sports or entertainment, along with a representative of the “online game players.” Moreover, the board would also include a psychology or consumer education expert, along with a public policy expert which would be nominated by the government.

The purpose of these self-regulatory bodies would be to create a framework of rules which would safeguard players against addiction and also protect children and prevent any financial crimes. Businesses would have to verify their users, conduct proper know-your-customer checks and have a contact address in India.

The government also said that if a self-regulatory body would not create sufficient standards, then the central government would have the right to undertake measures to address the issues and even suspend the registration of that body.

Last year, MP Sushil Kumar Modi urged the government to create a comprehensive framework of regulation for online gaming. Before him, the Indian Minister of Finance, Anurag Thakur, declared that his country should move down the path of legalizing and regulating gambling instead of restricting or banning the activity.

SOURCE“India creates rules for online gambling“iGaming Business. January 5, 2023.

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