December 5, 2023
The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has been appointed the nodal ministry for online gaming, according to a gazette notification published on Monday.

For e-sports as part of multi-sports events, the Department of Sports under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, has been notified as the nodal department.

The online gaming sector has been under the regulatory spotlight and the government has been working on formulating rules for the industry, where a debate is raging over various online games being put into buckets of either games of skill or games of chance.

Recently, IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the Centre would soon come up with a proper policy, and a new law, to deal with online gaming as all states have been unanimous in their concerns about the serious impact it was causing to society.

“The appointment of MeitY as the central regulatory authority will provide clarity and certainty to investors, industry and consumers,” said Joy Bhattacharjya, director general, Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS).

“The decision is in line with the government’s initiative to push for growth of the animation, visual effects, gaming and comics (AVGC) sector and making India a global hub for online gaming. We are sure that the online gaming industry will grow responsibly under MeitY’s guidance. The industry is looking forward to working with MeitY in creating a well-balanced regulatory framework,” he added.

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Responding to a question in Parliament, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said earlier this month that the government was aware of the possible risk and challenges of online gaming, including the risk of “violence abetting video games, addiction to it, and consequential financial loss.”
Separately, the sector has also come under the lens of Indian tax authorities, with the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs
having sent notices to around half a dozen online gaming firms based in Malta, the UK and Gibraltar.

On Tuesday, ET reported that the government, through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ Investor Protection and Education Fund (IPEF),
was planning to launch an outreach campaign to create awareness about cryptocurrencies and online gaming.

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