The Indian government creates rules for online gambling and has established a number of “self-regulatory” bodies to manage the sector.
India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued a series of amendments to its information technology rules (Interim Guidelines and Digital Media Code of Ethics) to address online gambling.
According to the published rules, an online game of chance is defined as any game played over the Internet in which a player “makes a deposit with the expectation of winning.” If necessary, the Government of India may include certain games in the list of games covered by these rules.
Thus, the amendments state that any online gambling offered must not violate any existing laws, such as statewide gaming bans.
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Self-regulatory bodies for online gambling in India
Instead of creating a government-level regulator, the legislative changes allow for the creation of “self-regulatory bodies”, made up of online gambling companies, which would create rules for online gambling.
According to the legislative changes, the Board of Directors of such a body includes an eminent independent person in the field of online gambling, sports or entertainment or another relevant field, as well as a person representing online game players, an expert in psychology or consumer education and a public policy expert appointed by the central government of India.
These bodies create a framework of binding rules “to protect users from harm”, such as addiction, as well as to protect children and prevent financial crime.
It also requires gambling operators to verify users, perform customer know-how checks, implement a complaint resolution process, and have a contact address in India.
If another self-regulatory body does not create sufficient standards, the central government can “require them to take action to remedy the non-compliance”. If necessary, it can suspend such a body.
In 2022, MP Sushil Kumar Modi called on the Indian government to create a regulatory legislative framework for online gaming, expressing concern over its growing popularity in the country.
In June, India announced a ban on online betting ads from foreign-based operators. The government has asked print and electronic media to “refrain” from publishing advertisements for online betting platforms.
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