Gaming firms seek distinction between ‘video games’ and ‘real money games’

Gaming companies in India have asked the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to create a distinction between video games and real money games, a report by The Economic Times said.

In the ministry’s recent draft notification, “video games” and “online games played for stakes” are combined under one definition. Globally, the two are defined differently with the games not involving staking money being categorised as “video games”. The industry looking after those games is called the “video game industry”.

Experts said it is crucial for clear rules to evolve as the number of games in India grows.

“As India’s gamers grow in numbers and evolve in terms of preference, it’s crucial that the rules evolve as well,” Roby John, cofounder and CEO at SuperGaming told ET. “Gamers themselves clearly distinguish between real money gaming, fantasy sports, and free-to-play games; this distinction should exist on the regulatory side as well.”

The companies have sought a stakeholder meeting to discuss this.

On Tuesday, the Centre will meet with several gaming companies to further discuss the recently proposed amendments to IT Rules, 2021. All major industry bodies, policy advocacy groups and industry stakeholders will discuss the policy.

On January 11, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, the minister of state for electronics and information technology, held a meeting with children, parents, teachers, Esports athletes, gamers, and safety and trust organisations on the proposed rules on online gaming.

The clarity in the definition of an online game, implementation of KYC norms, and child safety were among the main concerns raised during the meeting.

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