Online Gaming by the Rules

Due to its tremendous growth and popularity, online gaming industry in India has been the subject of numerous legal disputes because of concerns over excessive participation of youngsters, leading to addiction, financial difficulties, and gambling. Play the game below to learn about the growth and the legal obstacles faced by the nascent online gaming industry in India. Use arrow keys on keyboard to play OR touch the screen of your mobile/tablet to move the player.



In December 2020, NITI Aayog released draft guidelines for the national-level regulation of online fantasy sports in India (NITI Aayog 2020). The draft makes a clear distinction between online games and fantasy sports and recommends regulating OFS operators through a self-regulatory fantasy sports industry body. As highlighted in the draft, the problem with the current governance structure for online gaming is not only that it is fragmented and inconsistent at different levels, but also that it subjects all types of online gaming to the same law. While there are policy challenges, it is also practically impossible to put online games like Candy Crush Saga, Call of Duty, fantasy sports, and chess (which have varying skill levels and risks of addiction, violence, and financial losses) under the same umbrella and subjugate them to the same law. Therefore, it is important to first classify online games and then examine the problems posed by each category. 

This feature is based on Online Gaming: A Data-driven Regulatory Framework. In this paper, the authors Aishvarya, Sharada Sringeswara, Shailaja Grover and Dinesh Kumar U discuss the ongoing confusion relating to the online gaming sector in India. They highlight the concerns raised by state governments, recent amendments, state laws, and court judgments, all of which have led to a state of entanglement around the online gaming industry. They look at similar problems faced by other countries and the measures that were adopted by them, and draw lessons from these countries’ regulatory frameworks.

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