Need clarity in definitions, wider governance in online gaming rules: UKIBC
The UK India Business Council (UKIBC) on January 24 made a formal submission to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on the draft online gaming rules, proposing new regulations for the online gaming industry.
In its submission, UKIBC proposed a number of key recommendations including the need for clarity in definitions and wider governance related provisions of the draft rules, that centre on enabling certainty and ease of doing business.
The submission builds upon the recommendations of UKIBC’s “Gaming for Growth” report, released in April of 2022. The council has urged the government to legalise and regulate the gaming market across India, particularly sports betting, in line with the Law Commission’s 2018 recommendations.
In addition, it recommended bringing out clear and effective regulations drawing on international best practices, that help foster and encourage responsible gambling and gaming.
The UK-India trade body was of the view that since the online gaming market spans the entirety of India, regulations for governing the sector should be determined by the Centre while the right to decide whether to permit gaming may be retained by states.
It urged the Centre to draft “game-neutral regulations” that apply to the wide variety of gaming that exists online and across the sporting world.
The Council further emphasized that legislations seeking to ban ‘online games of skill’ have been held as unconstitutional by the Indian Courts, reaffirming they are a business activity. “Any upcoming regulations for the sector should, therefore, move away from prohibition towards constructive governance.”
The UKIBC had earlier attended a stakeholder consultation that was held by MeitY on 17 January. “We will continue to work with our members and the Government of India to help shape an optimal and responsive regulatory framework for online gaming in India,” the Council said in a statement.
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