Regulate online gaming
Why in news? The MeitY has released draft amendments in relation to online gaming. The idea is to ensure that online games are in conformity with Indian laws and to safeguard users against potential harm.
- The idea is to ensure that online games are in conformity with Indian laws and to safeguard users against potential harm.
What changes are being proposed?
- The proposals are aimed at safeguarding the interests of users by introducing set procedures and norms for verification and user engagement.
- The draft proposal defines constitutes an ‘online game’. It is “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 winnings”
- The game operators would have to verify users on the platform and provide them with the terms of services
- Operators have to inform the user about the policy 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
- User has to be informed about the risk of potential financial loss and addiction associated with the game.
- Addiction is to be combated using repeated warning messages should the user exceed a reasonable duration while playing a certain game.
What about the platforms?
- Before hosting or publishing a game, the platform would have to verify it from the self-regulatory body it is associated with and required to carry a registration mark on all its recognised online games.
- Platform to appoint a key management personnel or senior employee as its Chief Compliance Officer entrusted with coordinating law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance.
- Place for an appropriate mechanism for receipt and resolution of grievances.
- The complainant must be able to track the status of the same using a unique ticket number.
- MeitY is responsibility of recognising all self-regulated bodies under the proposed framework.
What are some of the concerns?
- The rules still bucket all gaming intermediaries into a broad category irrespective of size or risk.
- They all require similar compliances, including the need to have India based officers that make it difficult for global players to start their services in India