eGamingOnline Gaming & New Policy Shifts

Online Gaming & New Policy Shifts


Recently there have been several shifts and new policies adopted in the realm of online gaming. The government has tried to regulate online gaming in terms of tax, online content, and no-gambling activities on online gaming platforms. Recently 28% tax was imposed on online gaming with no distinguishment between games of skill and chance. The digital media ethics code has also come up with provisions for online gaming. Yet another new shift for online gaming, wherein the government has brought online gaming content and advertisements under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting(MIB). Previously the online gaming industry was mainly covered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology  Meity and Information & Technology Act, 2000.

This move comes as a part of the government effort to ensure better regulation of online provided content and advertisement in the digital landscape. This paves the way for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for exercising its authority over content dissemination. Hence Ministry of Information and Broadcasting now will be empowered ton to regulate policies governing gaming content platforms and online ads.

Recent policy shifts in online gaming:

  1. Online gaming rules: These rules came on April 6, 2023, in the form of intermediary guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code. The rules talk about establishing self-regulation through self-regulatory bodies (SRBs). The self-regulating bodies will be responsible for verifying the online real money games. SRBs will also have the power to suspend or revoke the verification of any game. The rules define online gaming intermediary as ‘any intermediary that enables the users of its computer resource to access one or more online games.’ This makes online gaming platforms subject to the same compliance as other intermediaries perform under IT Act or IT rules. Such as setting up grievance redressal, and following due diligence. The rules come with a concept of permissible online real money games or any other game that is not real money games which are verified by an SRB under rule 4A.
  2. 28% GST on online gaming: Recently finance ministry proposed to levy a 28% tax on online gaming. This policy will be implemented from 1st October 2023 and will be reviewed after 6 months of its implementation. 
  3. Online gaming content regulation by the I&B ministry: Online gaming content is brought under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Also recently  Information and Broadcasting Ministry issued a fresh advisory cautioning media entities, newspapers and digital media outlets, asking them to refrain from airing advertisements promoting betting and gambling platforms or activities.

Need of regulating online gaming content

Regulating online gaming content is critical for protecting users, and children from illicit or exploitive content. Such regulation will be helpful in promoting responsible gaming practices, by guaranteeing that gaming content adheres to ethical standards, combats cyberbullying and fraud, and promotes industry development and user safety. Online gaming content dissemination regulation approach will have a successful impact on online gaming to be safe, transparent, and to encourage socially responsible gaming environment.


Centre has taken action to bring online content providers including online gaming services and advertisement under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The moves come as a part of the government’s effort to ensure better regulation and governance in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Hence Information and Broadcasting Ministry is empowered to exercise its authority over content dissemination in the digital sphere. One of the key implications of this notification is Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will now have the power to regulate policies governing gaming content and online gaming advertisement. Prior to this, the Information & Technology Act of 2000 and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) were primarily overseeing these aspects. The growing influence of online platforms and the need to safeguard users from illicit or exploitive content motivated this approach of regulating online gaming content and advertisement in the digital sphere.



Author: Neeraj Soni, Intern – Policy & Advocacy, CyberPeace


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