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09-December-2023-Special Article

December 9, 2023 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm


The online gaming industry has recently taken a significant step by voluntarily adopting a code of ethics. This move signifies a proactive effort towards self-regulation and the creation of a more stable and responsible gaming environment. The responsibility for matters related to online gaming has been entrusted to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology by the Government of India.

Code of Ethics in Online Gaming:

Voluntary Industry Initiative:

  • Three prominent lobby groups – IAMAI, EGF, and AIGF – have voluntarily co-signed a code of ethics.
  • Despite its non-binding nature, the code aims to promote responsible practices within the industry, fostering a step towards self-regulation.
  • Focuses on safeguarding consumer interests through informed decision-making and responsible gaming practices.
  • Mandates know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, transparent disclosure, and proper utilization of deposits.

Understanding Online Gaming:

Definition and Difference from Gambling:

  • Online gaming involves playing games through the internet, facilitating player connections and collaborative gameplay.
  • Accessible on various devices, including computers and mobile phones.
  • Unlike gambling, online gaming focuses on skill-based competitions rather than bets on uncertain outcomes.
  • The Supreme Court’s ‘skill test’ in RMD Chamarbaugawala v. Union of India distinguishes between games of skill and chance.

Alignment with Government Regulations:

Legal Framework:

  • Public Gambling Act, 1867, addresses physical gambling activities but extends to online gaming, providing a regulatory framework.
  • Information Technology Act, 2000, plays a crucial role in regulating online activities, with Section 66 addressing computer-related offenses.
  • Sections 67, 67A, and 67B empower authorities to formulate laws related to online gaming, recognizing the need for discretion.

Government Initiatives:

  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology permits self-regulatory bodies within the industry.
  • Inter-Ministerial Task Force recommendations contribute to rule formulation, emphasizing a balance between industry growth and consumer protection.

Way Forward for the Industry:

Technology Integration for Compliance:

  • Invest in technology solutions for robust KYC procedures and transparent disclosure mechanisms.
  • Leverage secure technologies like blockchain to enhance transparency in winner determination and financial transactions.

Regular Audits and Reporting:

  • Establish a system for periodic audits by independent bodies to assess compliance.
  • Mandate online gaming companies to publish regular reports, promoting transparency and accountability.

Consumer Feedback Mechanism:

  • Implement a robust feedback mechanism to allow players to express concerns and provide input.
  • Use consumer feedback to continually improve the code, address emerging issues, and enhance the overall gaming experience.

International Best Practices Adoption:

  • Stay informed about global best practices and consider adopting relevant measures.
  • Participate in international forums to share insights and learn from the experiences of the global gaming community.


The voluntarily adopted code of ethics in the online gaming industry reflects a positive shift towards responsible and self-regulated practices. As the industry aligns with government regulations and embraces international best practices, investing in technology and maintaining open communication with consumers will be crucial for sustained growth and ethical gaming experiences.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss the significance of the online gaming industry’s voluntary adoption of a code of ethics for self-regulation. Analyze the key features of the code and its alignment with government regulations. Also, suggest measures for the industry’s way forward, considering technology integration, regulatory compliance, and international best practices. (150 Words) 10M


December 9, 2023
8:00 am - 5:00 pm