In draft amendments to its information technology rules published on Monday, India proposed a body to regulate the online gaming industry as concerns about the addictiveness of games and patchy state laws disrupt business.
According to consultancy Redseer, the proposal comes after a government panel recommended new rules to regulate a sector estimated to be worth $7 billion by 2026.
Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, two US investment firms, have recently backed Indian startups Dream11 and Mobile Premier League, which are known for their fantasy cricket.
The calls for industry oversight come amid growing concerns that the proliferation of such games, particularly among young people, has led to addiction and financial losses, as well as some reported suicides.
“We believe this is a great first step for comprehensive regulation for online gaming and will hopefully reduce the state-wise regulatory fragmentation that was a big challenge for the industry,” Roland Landers, the CEO of All India Gaming Federation, said.
Gaming companies would need government approval to establish a self-regulation body, which would include a government-nominated member with a background in public policy, public administration, law enforcement, or public finance, as well as a member with a background in psychology, medicine, or consumer education.
The proposal amendments also propose that companies appoint a chief compliance officer to ensure legal compliance and to verify user identity before creating an online account for them to play the games.
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