Thursday, September 14, 2023
HomeSportsDelay in implementing SROs for gaming leaves 'door open' for 'illegal betting...

Delay in implementing SROs for gaming leaves ‘door open’ for ‘illegal betting sites’ during Asia Cup

Colombo: Asia Cup 2023 ODI : India Vs Sri Lanka. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Sep 14 : The latest government advisory against advertisements by illegal betting sites issued ahead of the Asia Cup is falling flat as applications for Self Regulatory Organisations (SRO) for the online gaming sector have not been processed.

In its latest advisory, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, while advising TV, print and digital media against taking any ads from betting or surrogate sites told the platforms not to carry any ads that “is in the nature of advertisement or surrogate advertisement or promotion of an online game that is not a permissible online game”.

There are no officially recognised “permissible online games” as the process is still ongoing. In April this year, the Ministry of Electronics and IT announced new regulations for online gaming as an amendment in the IT Rules of 2021. As per the new rules, Self Regulatory organisations (SROs) will approve the games that can operate in the country in accordance with the rules.

Industry observers say that betting and gambling sites are taking advantage of this loophole to prey on the Indian market. As the various tournaments such as the Asia Cup & Caribbean Premier League get underway, illegal betting and gambling sites have increased visibility.

Utkarsh Srivastava , a tech lawyer practicing in Delhi and Lucknow High Courts, told IANS, “Since the setting up of an SRO will take some time, the rules cannot be enforced. While the government follows due process and vets these applications, it may result in a scenario where illegal betting and gambling sites take advantage of the situation and capitalize on ongoing sports tournaments.”

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has received three proposals for the establishment of self-regulatory organisations (SROs) before the deadline of July 6.

These SROs were to be primarily responsible for deciding which are “permissible online games”. But the government is still to take any action till date.

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