The notification of the Gaming Code 23 is bound to satisfy the gaming industry as its provisions stress due diligence and self-regulation.

While the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is empowered to designate the self-regulatory bodies (SRB) for verifying online real money game, private organisations fulfilling prescribed criteria may also be designated as SRBs. The presence of multiple SRBs will help ensure that the gaming industry is effectively represented, given the multi-layered nature of online games.

Additionally, Meity has designed the rules to ensure that the members of the SRBs are representative of all strata of society, including educationists, psychologists, and persons working with child rights, public policy and public administration.

Also read:Several Law firms representing gaming industry reach out to PMO

The SRB may permit an online real money game by publishing on its website a framework for verifying the game to ensure it is not against the interests of the country, does not promote self-harm or psychological harm, has child protection measures, and has safeguards against gaming addiction.

The code mandates the SRBs to publish a list of the online games permitted by them, details of the applicants for the online games, validity of the games, date of permission, details of suspension or revocation of permission, and so on. The details of the members of the SRBs should be published on their respective websites.

The code also stipulates that the online intermediary shall display a visible mark of verification, follow the ‘know your customer’ or KYC procedure, and refrain from financing the user customer. The intermediary shall elaborate the policy related to the withdrawal or refund of deposit, the manner of determination and distribution of winnings, and the fees and other charges payable by the user.

(The writers are partners with SNG & Partners, a law firm)