Key Highlights:
  • A meeting of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) was held with 40 online gaming platforms, as well as gaming unicorns such as Mobile Premier League (MPL), Dream11, and Nazara Technologies, among others.
  • The Rajasthan government’s draft Rajasthan Virtual Online Sports (Regulation) Bill 2022, as well as similar legislation and drafts from other state governments, was also discussed at the meeting.
  • The government have resulted in the formation of a Group of Ministers (GoM) for the imposition of 28% GST on online gaming.

In order to effectively regulate online gaming platforms without slowing down their growth, the government is said to be attempting to develop a national framework for them.

A meeting of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) was held with 40 online gaming platforms, as well as gaming unicorns such as Mobile Premier League (MPL), Dream11, and Nazara Technologies, among others.

The meeting was presided over by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Information Technology, and also included representatives of trade groups like the All India Gaming Federation.

A senior government official said, “Supporting and facilitating the growth and expansion of all gaming platforms while also ensuring their effective regulation is the goal. Nevertheless, regulations must not restrict their growth”.

Several months have passed since industry officials have begun calling for a ‘code’ for online gaming platforms. A number of online gaming platforms had written to MeitY for the same purpose in December 2021.

The Rajasthan government’s draft Rajasthan Virtual Online Sports (Regulation) Bill 2022, as well as similar legislation and drafts from other state governments, was also discussed at the meeting.

To regulate online gaming, the state government drafted legislation. Although the report doesn’t distinguish between esports and fantasy gaming, this can be detrimental to both sectors within the broader gaming industry.

In that regard, the industry requested a central regulatory framework that would be predictable and stable so that sudden shocks do not occur. A clear interpretation of the Gambling Act is also needed for online gaming, as the industry has called for amendments.

Recent efforts by the government have resulted in the formation of a Group of Ministers (GoM) for the imposition of 28% GST on online gaming. Meghalaya’s Chief Minister Conrad Sangma led the panel in finalizing its report in mid-May 2022, which it will present at the next GST Council meeting.

Moreover, the panel has decided that the GST will be charged on gross gaming revenue and not per transaction or per bet. There is no doubt that the move is intended to discourage gambling and betting in the country.