The government is planning to take such move realising the impact it has on the society
Recently, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw held a meeting with the Information Technology ministers of all the states, who were concerned over the effect of online gaming
We will be able to come up with a proper policy very soon which might even involve a new law or a regulation: Vaishnaw
While the gaming industry has been calling for a centralised regulation for a long time, the Centre has now decided to come up with a proper policy or a new law on online gaming, soon.
The government is planning to take such a move realising the impact online gaming has on the society, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said, as reported by news agency PTI.
Recently, the minister held a meeting with the Information Technology ministers of all the states, who were concerned over the effect of online gaming.
“Every state has shown serious concern about the impact online gaming is having on society, particularly the addictive part of it — people are getting addicted, people are weirdly exhibiting behaviour not within social norms, which is affecting harmony of society,” Vaishnav said.
Hence, the government has initiated a very serious consultation process with all stakeholders. “We will be able to come up with a proper policy very soon which might even involve a new law or a regulation,” he said.
It is to be noted that the Madhya Pradesh government on Friday announced the constitution of a high-level task force that will make recommendations to regulate the online gaming space in the state.
The panel will examine technical and legal aspects related to the online gambling and gaming industry and will, accordingly, suggest new changes.
Over the last two years, many state governments have come out with new laws to essentially ban online gaming. However, all these orders have been challenged by gaming startups or advocacy groups in the courts.
Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar recently said in the Parliament that the government was well aware of the possible risks associated with online games, including ‘abetting violence, addiction, and consequential financial loss.’
However, he added that the Centre has no plans to limit the time spent playing online games.
Meanwhile, the government is also working on the taxation of online gaming and yet to reach a decision on the GST rate. The GST Council in its meeting on Saturday once again deferred the decision on the GST levy rate for online gaming, horse racing and casinos.
Notably, online games in which winning is dependent on a certain outcome would attract 28% GST on the full bet value, Central Board of Indirect Taxes (CBIC) chief Vivek Johri reportedly said on Saturday.
Despite regulatory uncertainty, the online gaming industry has seen good growth over the past years, especially in the number of overall gamers. According to a KPMG report, online gamers in India grew to about 400 Mn by mid-2020 from about 250 Mn in 2018, making the country the second-largest base of online gamers after China.
Over the past few years, a large number of gaming startups have emerged in the country over the last few years, including unicorns such as MPL, Dream11, Games 24×7. One more name, Mumbai-based online gaming company Nazara Technologies made a debut on the stock exchange last year.