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IAMAI says most suited to form self-regulatory organisation for online

Industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) on Friday asserted it is best suited to form any proposed self-regulatory organization for online gaming.

The association is also of the view that matters relating to online gaming going to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY’s) ambit is a strong signal by the government to encourage the segment to grow in a regulated and orderly fashion, and at the same time, create proper institutional mechanisms for redressal of consumer grievances.

It is pertinent to mention here that MeitY has been appointed as the nodal ministry for online gaming, as the Centre notified these amendments to the allocation of business rules recently. The ministry is all set to come out with norms for online gaming intermediaries.
In a statement issued on Friday, IAMAI said that it is best suited to form the proposed Self-Regulatory Organisation (SRO) for online gaming.

“The association was responding to two recent developments. First under the rules of business notified on December 26, 2022, vide which the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology was made responsible for formulating rules and regulations for online gaming, and second, media reports that the ministry was working on creating an SRO for the online gaming sector,” IAMAI said.

Subho Ray, President at IAMAI, said given the association’s hands-on experience in running a Ministry of Information and Broadcasting mandated and registered SRO for Online Curated Content Companies and another industry-driven SRO with the support of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs for the EduTech sector “we are best suited to set up and manage the online gaming SRO”.

“Also, given our wide range of membership in the online games of skill segment, we would be able to pull various types of skill-based online gaming firms into the SRO,” Ray said.

The online gaming space has been under the regulatory lens, and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had recently said the Centre would come out with a proper policy or a new law on online gaming given the impact it has on society.

Earlier this week, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar tweeted “@GoI_MeitY will soon publish rules for online gaming intermediaries and start public consultation on same.”

Earlier this month, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Chandrasekhar had noted that with more Indians coming online, the potential of them being exposed to online gaming platforms with harmful information has also increased.

“With the expansion of the Internet and more and more Indians coming online, the potential for Indians being exposed to the online game, offered by online gaming platform intermediaries, including online games that have information that is harmful or violates any law, has also increased,” he had said.

The minister said that the government has come up with Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 which cast a specific obligation on intermediaries, including intermediaries offering online games, to observe diligence. PTI

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