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JC - Legal Updates - Online Gaming: Draft amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

Legal Updates

05 Jan 2023

Online Gaming: Draft amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

Brief Overview:

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MEITY”) has published draft amendments (“Draft Online Gaming Rules”) to the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Intermediary Guidelines 2021”) to regulate online gaming and has invited feedback on the proposed amendments, which may be submitted by 17th January 2023.

Technical Details:

The Draft Online Gaming Rules seeks to:

1)   Define “online game” to mean a game that is offered on the Internet and is accessible by a user through a computer resource if the user makes a deposit with the expectation of earning winnings. A “deposit” has been defined to mean the deposit made in cash or in kind, by the user for participating in an online game.

2)  Allow self-regulatory bodies to be registered with MEITY. Self-regulatory bodies may register online games of online gaming intermediaries who are its members, provided they meet certain criteria such as applicant’s track record in promoting responsible online gaming, general reputation etc.

3)  Define “online gaming intermediary” to mean an intermediary that offers one or more than one online game and lays down certain compliance requirements for such intermediaries such as:

(a)  inform the users about the risk of financial loss and addiction associated with online gaming;

(b)  appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be liable for ensuring compliance with the Information Technology Act, 2000 and the rules made thereunder;

(c)  enable users who register for their services from India, or use their services in India, to voluntarily verify their accounts by using any appropriate mechanism;

(d)  appoint a nodal contact person for 24x7 coordination with law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure compliance to their orders or requisitions;

(e)  have a physical contact address in India published on its website or mobile based application, or both, for the purposes of receiving any communication addressed to it; and

(f)  implement an appropriate grievance redressal mechanism.

4)   Lay down the criteria for registration of online games with any self-regulatory body such as the said game needs to be in conformity with applicable laws of India, including any such law that relates to gambling or betting or the age at which an individual is competent to enter a contract.

For further details, please see:

Draft amendments to the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 in relation to online gaming | Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India (meity.gov.in)  

For any queries / clarifications, please feel free to ping us and we will be happy to chat:

●   Ms. Namrta Rai (namrta.rai@jclex.com)

●   Mr. Neeraj Dubey (neeraj.dubey@jclex.com)