India notified amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Gaming Rules”), on April 6, 2023. This is a key step to regulate online gaming at a federal level in India.Continue Reading India’s Online Gaming Industry bets on federal level rules
On April 6, 2023, India introduced a new legal regime for operators of online games by introducing amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“Intermediary Rules”) (amendments are referred to as “Gaming Amendments”).Continue Reading The Online Gaming Intermediaries Regulations: What is New?
The Ministry of Finance has issued a notification dated March 07, 2023 (“Notification”), classifying entities that engage in specific activities (see below) related to Virtual Digital Assets (“VDA(s)”) in the course of business, as “persons carrying on designated business or profession” Therefore, such entities are now considered “Reporting Entities” under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and the corresponding rules (“PMLA”).Continue Reading PMLA Concerns for the Skill Gaming Sector?
Days after “online gaming” was formally brought under the purview of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (“MEITY”) through the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, MEITY has proposed amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (“2021 Rules”), to create a novel co-regulatory framework to govern the operations of online gaming intermediaries (“Draft Gaming Rules”). The Ministry has invited public comments on the Draft Gaming Rules till January 17, 2023.Continue Reading Draft Rules for Online Gaming: The Beginning of an Enabling Framework?
The online gaming industry is among the few industries that have survived the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, and is projected to witness a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21% over FY21-FY25. Today, online gaming platforms host a diverse variety of games – ranging from rummy and poker to ‘fantasy sports leagues’ relating to cricket.
Innovation and growth, particularly in new age industries and sunrise sectors, is never a uniform or predictable process. Every industry, in its nascent stages of growth, attracts certain players who enter with a long-term vision of sustainability and others who operate with a myopic vision of short-term gains, taking advantage of regulatory arbitrage.
While this creates the need to regulate these sectors, their complex and dynamic nature often require deep industry knowledge and flexibility, which makes conventional, top down, government regulations difficult. Historically, a robust, responsible, transparent, and representative self-regulatory regime has directed the navigation of various sectors in a responsible and consumer friendly manner. This self-regulatory model, for instance, has been implemented successfully across various sectors internationally, as an efficient means of developing best practices and codes and checking bad actors. Some of the examples are the Entertainment Software Rating Board in the United States, which assigns ratings to video games and apps to assist parents in making purchase decisions, the Japan Toy Association for safety marks on toys, the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commission for consumer dispute resolution in New Zealand, the framework for mobile content and payment services between telecommunication companies in Denmark for mobile content and payment services and Confianza Online regulating ecommerce players in Spain. Continue Reading Self Regulation – A Gamechanger for Online Fantasy Sport
Online gaming, particularly fantasy sports, has witnessed a surge in the Indian market primarily due to easy internet access and increase in digital usage. The number of fantasy sports operators increased seven-fold between 2016 and 2018, whereas the user base grew over 25 times between June 2016 and February 2019. Investments upto USD 166 million (approx.) were made in fantasy sports operations during 2018 -2019. While no valuation of the industry as a whole is readily available, Dream11, the largest fantasy sports operator in India was estimated to be valued at approximately USD 1-1.5 billion in April 2019.
The growth of fantasy sports has raised questions on its legitimacy and legality in India. Fantasy sports are legally recognised in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Canada, France and in most states in USA. In India, the High Courts of Punjab & Haryana, Rajasthan and Bombay have clarified that fantasy sports are games of “skill” rather than “chance” and, therefore, do not amount to gambling. These decisions have encouraged participation in such sports and led to its growth in India. Continue Reading Supreme Court to have its say on legality of Fantasy Sports
Manchester City Football Club (“MCFC”) was banned from participating in club competitions of the Union des Associations Européenes de Football (“UEFA”) for the next two seasons, on February 14, 2020. A fine of EUR 30 million was also imposed on the grounds of having committed serious breaches of UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations (“UEFA Regulations”), and because of failure to cooperate with the investigation. The Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (“CFCB”) has found that MCFC overstated its sponsorship revenue in its accounts submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016. Continue Reading UEFA shows Manchester City the Red Card: Why Indian Football should take note