Congress MP proposes formation of Online Gaming Commission to regulate gaming in India

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Lok Sabha Member of Parliament, Dean Kuriakose, recently presented a private member’s bill in the Parliament seeking to form a new governing body to moniter and regulate the gaming industry in India. This proposed body will be known as Online Gaming Commission and will control multiple aspects if implemented.

The presented bill is known as Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, 2022 and it is necessary to prevent fraudulent activities in the ever growing gaming industry of India.

The government of India has already been taking steps towards officially recognizing esports in the country by supporting it in several ways and this commission could be seen as an official body regulating these activities.

The bill aims at putting some restrictions on the gaming activity. According to Medianama, the Gaming Commission will take care of following things:

  • Provide oversight of the functioning of Online Gaming Websites
  • Prepare periodical or reports on online gaming for the Union Government
  • Suggest measures to control or curb illegal online gaming
  • Grant, suspend, and revoke the licence of online gaming websites
  • Determine fee for licence applications and renewals of such websites

If this bill is implemented, there would be some extreme limits set. As the bill mentions, a license will be issued to concerned parties to run servers and presumably events as well. The citation is as follows:

  • No person shall engage in Online Gaming except through an Online Gaming Website.
  • No person shall operate an Online Gaming Server or an Online Gaming Website without a license granted under this Act.
  • Any person who operates an Online Gaming Server or an Online Gaming Website without a license, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and with such fine as may be prescribed.

The implications of Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill 2022 are very vague for now and it would be more clear once it is set in action, if the parliament decides to pass it and implement the entire proposed bill.

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