A policy advocacy group has sought a regulatory framework for skill-based online gaming to protect children and weed out unscrupulous offshore players.Chase India has released a paper highlighting the need for “unified” framework for the online skill-based games ecosystem.
“A clear and sound national regulatory framework for skill-based online gaming will protect children, consumers, ensure the growth of the ‘sunrise’ sector while keeping at bay illegal actors operating from overseas in the space,” the group said in the paper.
At present, different states have interpreted laws on gaming differently causing confusion for legitimate players while unwittingly allowing illegal offshore players with no accountability in the country to operate with abandon, it said.
The policy paper examined the issues relating to online skill gaming and proposes the way forward.
Based on the issues faced by users, industry, and other stakeholders, the policy paper recommended reforms in the existing regulatory framework to ensure that the growth of the industry is balanced with protective measures so that consumers particularly children are not harmed, and unscrupulous players are weeded out.
The paper said the framework of regulation can ensure growth of the ecosystem and protection of users of online skill gaming platform.
The paper recommended that games of skill should be clearly defined in the proposed regulatory framework, and a robust self-regulatory mechanism must be built that sets high standards of ethics for the industry while maintaining their operational efficiencies.
A grievance redressal mechanism on the lines of OTT platforms regulatory framework should be prescribed in the gaming industry, it said.
The provisions to ensure protection of children should be built into the system, such that their access to age-inappropriate content can be blocked and the regulations should ensure reasonable security and privacy of the users and the platforms, it said.
The policy paper recommended that the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 may be amended to include specific provisions for online game of skill intermediaries.
The proposed reforms will address the urgent need to protect players and online games of skill ecosystem.
The policy paper urged the nodal ministry, Ministry of Electronics, and Information Technology to initiate the process of inclusion of guidelines for online games of skill intermediaries with administrative support from the concerned ministry.