The Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, 2022: More Confusion? – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment

The Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, 2022 (Bill) was launched
within the Lok Sabha on 1 April 2022 as a personal members invoice, within the
midst of India’s most premier sporting occasion, and on the heels
of the upcoming sale of media rights of the Indian Premier League,
which is anticipated to fetch astronomical sums.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons accompanying the Bill has
underscored that it has been launched with the twin goals of
preserving integrity in on-line gaming and introducing a regulatory
regime for on-line gaming.

The market worth of the gaming trade in India was round INR
62 billion (USD 845.5 million) in 2019 and is estimated to go as much as
over INR 250 billion by 2024 (~USD 3.4 billion) (Source:
). Armed with the most important youth inhabitants within the
world, India stays one of the engaging markets for on-line
gaming. However, owing to a scarcity of progressive regulatory coverage
framework, the stakeholders (particularly, the reputable enterprise
operators) within the on-line gaming trade in India typically face the
brunt knee-jerk legislative actions, authorities investigations and

Recognising the regulatory conundrum on this sector, the Bill
seeks to implement a codified framework to streamline the conduct
of on-line gaming platforms.


As the title suggests, the Bill brings below its ambit all kinds
of on-line gaming no matter whether or not it’s a sport of ability or
likelihood. The Bill envisages to determine a ‘watch-canine’ i.e.
an Online Gaming Commission (Commission) which is to be constituted
by the Central Government. The Commission shall have the ability to
oversee the functioning of on-line gaming web sites and take measures
to curb unlawful on-line gaming. Further, the Bill envisages a
licensing regime and empowers the Commission to grant, droop and
revoke licenses for on-line gaming web sites. Further, it bars any
entity from working an internet gaming server or an internet gaming
web site with no license and even makes it a punishable offence.
However, the Bill excludes individuals offering backend companies in
India, together with internet hosting and maintenances companies, for any
worldwide gaming web site primarily based exterior India.

Additionally, the Commission would have the ability to formulate
guidelines referring to licensing, method of retaining accounts, individuals
who could also be permitted to play on-line video games, group or
exhibition of on-line video games, circumstances for admissions of
members and the charges to be charged, notices to be placed on the
on-line gaming web site and circumstances relating to offering credit score
amenities by a licensee to gamers of on-line video games, regulation of
participation by proxy in on-line video games, and many others.


Lately, numerous courts in India have nudged the state
governments to look into the legislative void round on-line gaming
within the state particular legislations (confer with our ERGOs here and here). The Bill seeks to place in place numerous
checks and balances by delegating regulatory powers to the

However, the Bill could also be extremely regressive because it fails to attract a
distinction between informal gaming and actual cash gaming platforms.
The want of the hour is to have a regulatory framework for actual
cash gaming and never informal gaming, which is already ruled by
numerous different legislations.

Further, the Bill doesn’t draw from the licensing regime
presently in place for actual cash video games in sure legal guidelines handed by a
few North-Eastern states of India.

The Bill seeks to determine a centralised company by the Central
Government which might have powers to control on-line gaming.
However, the Bill, if handed, might face authorized hurdles as playing
has been a ‘state-topic’ and the Bill vests the
regulatory powers to an company to be created by the Central
Government, i.e., the Commission.

The Bill additionally fails to handle sure impending points like
Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, buyer grievance mechanisms, knowledge
safety of the customers and different societal points.

An identical invoice known as “The Sports (Online Gaming and
Prevention of Fraud) Bill, 2018” was earlier launched as a
personal members invoice by Dr Shashi Tharoor within the Lok Sabha, in
December 2018 which was extra strong and a barely extra
complete draft masking inside its ambit sports activities fraud and
betting too. However, the Sports Bill lapsed with the dissolution
of Parliament, previous to basic elections in 2019 and was not
reintroduced thereafter.

A sturdy regulatory and authorized atmosphere, devoid of
uncertainties is the necessity of the hour for this dawn trade to
obtain its true potential and make sure that the enterprise can scale

In its present type, the Bill seems to be scanty.
Notwithstanding the “suspect” constitutionality of the
Bill, contemplating playing being a state-topic, it stays to be
seen whether or not there may be sufficient political will to take this Bill

The content material of this doc don’t essentially mirror the
views/place of Khaitan & Co however stay solely these of the
writer(s). For any additional queries or comply with up please contact
Khaitan & Co at [email protected]

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