Unveiling the Regulatory Framework for Online Gaming in India: What Gamers and Developers need to Know

  • Vedvyas Vaishnava and Amber Srivastava
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  • Vedvyas Vaishnava

    Student at Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

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The explosive growth of gaming as an industry has now caught the attention of tight-fisted regulatory authorities who face an uncertain roadmap without an effective legal framework that can mitigate ambiguities and complexities of a sector with an immense business potential. The primary aim of this article seeks to provide an industry overview of the current regulatory regime as it stands in India, attempt to understand the efficacy of underlying laws and evaluate the sector from a legal standpoint. The regulatory regime of online gaming in India is characterised by the dichotomy between skill-based and chance-based games, which in one sweep allow the former to be licensed and permitted and the latter, given its random nature, to be severely restricted in the legal framework. There’s a clear tilt in favour of certain classes of games without any persuasive ‘public interest’ other than the expectation of employment generation and revenue to the state treasury. The case law has over different periods of history relied upon old legal precedents as well as judicial pronouncements of recent times that have now crystallised the regulatory dispensation. An overview of the relevant legal recommendations that govern online games throws up inherent incoherencies and unreflective disparities between varied jurisdictions that are legally binding. There’s a clear need for dedicated legislation that will also help harmonise the disparate State laws, and embrace technological solutions that have the potential to reinforce regulatory interventions. A complete overhaul of regulatory regime may be in order to put in pace consumer protections and enforceability of obligations between stakeholders of online gaming industry. The article concludes by providing roadmap of reform initiatives that may have to be undertaken to fill in the interpretative lacunae of online gaming industry in India.




International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 4187 - 4205

DOI: https://doij.org/10.10000/IJLMH.117899

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