The long-awaited report is seen as key to the future of India’s mobile games industry, which is estimated to reach $5 billion by 2025 from the current $1.5 billion.
Here are some of the highlights of the panel’s recommendation on the regulatory framework proposed in its draft report:
* The federal government should consider enacting a separate law to regulate online gambling as a “long term measure”. As a “stop-gap measure”, until such a new law is enacted, the industry can be regulated by rules written under India’s existing IT law.
* India’s IT minister would act as the central minister for online gaming, excluding e-sports and gambling.
* Any new legal framework should apply to both real-money and free-to-play games of skill, including esports, online fantasy sports, card games and other casual games that could have a big impact. The rules would apply to both gaming companies in India and those operating outside but targeting Indian users.
* Creation of a regulatory body for the online gaming industry, which will, among other things, determine what qualifies as a game of skill, and certify different game formats.
* Inclusion of provisions for a “Code of Ethics” for game publishers; have due diligence of online gaming platforms, including a robust complaints redress mechanism and mandatory know-your-customer standards.
* Any online gaming platform offering real money gaming to Indian users should have a legal entity constituted under Indian law. Provide government blocking powers to deal with unregistered online gambling platforms.
* Have a three-level dispute resolution mechanism, made up of the gaming platform, the gaming platforms’ self-regulatory bodies and an oversight committee headed by an appropriate minister.