April 19, 2023
India has recently completed the modification of its Tech Rules to recognize real money gambling games. Online gambling services/products will now be recognized under the Information Technology Rules of 2021.
In February 2021, the Indian government introduced the Information Technology Rules of 2021 to oversee and manage online content and platforms, such as digital media publishers, social media intermediaries, and messaging services. The IT Act of 2000 laid the foundation for the 2021 regulations to address the complexities of India's growing digital world, thus protecting user rights and ensuring secure online spaces.
MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) administers policies and initiatives for developing the IT, tech, and digital industries. The ministry has advised the government to look into Technology Rules. MeitY's responsibilities are fundamental in formulating policies to promote digital progress, protect online customers, enhance cybersecurity measures, and advance innovation in India's business arenas.
The new regulations make clear that so-called "online real money games" are those where players stake money or other valuable items to win actual money. MeitY distinguishes between games accessible on the internet and those via a computerized resource or a go-between.
Under the new regulations, social media and online gaming intermediaries must take appropriate steps to stop users from hosting, publishing, amending, broadcasting, archiving, refreshing, or disseminating any facts associated with online games that have not been approved. In addition, they must stop users from advertising or promoting any forbidden online game.
The new law grants MeitY the authority to select self-regulatory entities to authenticate online real-money gaming and ensure online casino sites comply with the existing laws. These gambling sites or apps will be responsible for upholding the regulations.
These new regulations are part of a more comprehensive scheme to protect Indians from illegal or dangerous online content. It's to be noted that online gambling in India has primarily been operating in a 'grey' area, which the government seeks to address.
As expected, the regulations have been criticized by specific individuals who lambast the government for being overly confining and threatening freedom of expression and speech. Nevertheless, it symbolizes a significant advancement in India's plans to regulate digital media and online gaming.
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