SRB Appointments in the Indian Gambling Market Are Paused

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The Indian Government has paused its recent introduction of appointing self-regulatory bodies (SRBs), the system it had started to regulate the online gaming licenses in the region. It is believed that one of the departments in the government, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), has raised concerns over the SRBs.

SRBs were initially introduced to allow online gaming companies to gain certification status and be recognized as licensed operators in the Indian gaming market. This would then allow the gaming companies to advertise on media platforms that are restricted to regulated gambling operators in the jurisdiction.

As well as the SRB procedure, there was also a proposal to have a group of government ministers oversee the awarding of online gaming licenses to gambling companies. This proposed decision has been put on hold alongside the SRB system.

There has been no progress on the appointment of SRBs. We received only one application so far, and we didn’t like it.

Rajeev ChandrasekharMinister of State for IT

MeitY to Take Control of Approvals

MeitY had expressed their dissatisfaction with the SRB system since September last year when they had multiple applications to process. The department felt the applications came from bodies that were too closely controlled by gambling companies.

MeitY feels they would like to take control of the process of issuing certification to gaming companies in the country. However, discussions on how to proceed with the regulation of gaming operators in India are still ongoing, and no final decision has been made yet.

Therefore, we’re immediately banning any illegal betting app that is reported to us. However, how do we allow a much clearer framework for this process? We’d decided to give this to an SRB. But, we don’t want an SRB to be hijacked by the industry. We haven’t decided yet that we would abrogate the power to determine permissibility that we’d given to SRBs, and give it to MeitY to do it instead. But, we’re considering it at the moment.

Rajeev ChandrasekharMinister of State for IT

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