Mobile Premier League, Games24x7, Dream Sports, and Zupee have written to the IT ministry expressing their disagreement with the observations made by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an industry body that represents digital businesses, on the proposed gaming rules, according to sources.
The four entities are part of the IAMAI gaming committee, which also has firms like Nazara Technologies and Loco. MPL and the other three companies said that the industry body issued the release without consulting them or providing any information. “We have raised a strong objection with IAMAI regarding the same,” the companies wrote in the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by Entrackr.
Economic Times first reported about the development.
The joint letter further said, “We believe the gaming rules are a great step towards the legal recognition and growth of the Indian online skill gaming industry and will go a long way in protecting users while allowing innovation and expansion of the industry in a responsible and transparent manner.”
Earlier, the IAMAI had urged the IT ministry to reassess definitions of gaming, entities, and self-regulatory bodies.
The industry body said, “The members of the association feel that the definition of online gaming is too broad and vague and would unnecessarily bring under regulation and expensive compliance a set of firms that do not need to be regulated or need to be very lightly regulated.”
In its detailed response to the draft amendments to the IT Rules, 2021, the IAMAI had highlighted multiple issues.
For instance, it said that the draft amendment defines an “online game” as “means a game that is offered on the Internet and is accessible by a user through a computer resource if he makes a deposit with the expectation of earning winnings.” The industry body, however, argued the definition was “broad” and did not categorically distinguish between different revenue models.
Last month, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) published draft online gaming rules under which it has proposed a host of measures to regulate the gaming industry. Some of the measures included a focus on due diligence, transparency for KYC and deposits and withdrawals, and setting up one or more self-regulatory bodies.
The proposed gaming rules were widely seen as a big respite for several online gaming platforms dealing with real money transactions.
In the past, a few Indian states have made efforts to curb these real money gaming platforms amid increasing cases of addiction and financial risks.
Some gaming firms, however, may have already secured some legal shield after the Supreme Court of India ruled in favor of Dream11 saying the latter’s fantasy sports are skill-based and not gambling.