The Central government of India has issued an order that aims at bringing content providers such as online gaming services and online advertisements under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
President Draupadi Murmu issued a gazette notification stating that ‘films and Audio-Visual programmes/content made available by online content providers/publishers would be brought under the heading ‘Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’ in the Second Schedule of Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961.
A senior official who wished to maintain anonymity said, “This will have to be followed up by making new rules etc., for effecting change.” With this notification, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will have the power to regulate policies for all gaming content platforms and online advertisements.
In April this year, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) released an amendment to the IT Rules 2021. This was done to regulate online real money games, which required users to risk money to play. On the other hand, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a fresh advisory notice warning the media entities, platforms and online intermediaries against airing advertisements on betting and gambling platforms.
Back then, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had taken strong exception to the recent instances of mainstream English and Hindi newspapers that feature advertisements and promotional content of betting websites.
However, this is not the first time the government is looking at regulating online gaming content. The move to regulate media dealing with online gaming was first initiated in March 2018. The then minister for Information and Broadcasting, Smriti Irani, had initiated to regulate the online space, which is governed by the Information Technology Act of 2000.
This comes at a time when the online gaming industry is struggling and uproaring against the recent 28% Goods and Service Tax (GST) imposed by the GST Council.
Amarylisa Gonsalves is a Content Writer at Gutshot Magazine. Advancing from a marketing background, she found her calling in writing. She takes delight in exploring genres and is a curious learner. Patient and ambivert, she believes in letting her work speak for itself. Apart from content writing, she finds solace in writing poetry by expressing herself through words. Additionally, she adores indulging in anything that satisfies her creative self, like drawing and DIY crafts.
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