National Broadcast Policy: Fantasy sports body cautions against regulatory overlap
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2 weeks ago 06:00:50am Television

National Broadcast Policy: Fantasy sports body cautions against regulatory overlap

New Delhi, 09-May-2024, By IBW Team

National Broadcast Policy: Fantasy sports body cautions against regulatory overlap

The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports or FIFS has cautioned in a submission to the broadcast regulator TRAI that while formulating a National Broadcast Policy, regulatory overlaps should be avoided as far as online gaming goes.

“The amended IT Rules have been drafted following extensive stakeholder consultations, and incorporate principles aimed at fostering an open, safe, transparent, and accountable online gaming environment.

“In light of the promulgation of these Rules, the MeiTY (Ministry of Electronics & InfoTech) is best positioned to effectively govern, administer, and regulate the online gaming industry in India through the said Rules,” FIFS has submitted, adding care must be taken to avoid regulatory overlap between the IT Rules and the National Broadcasting Policy.

The FIFS submission to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on a consultation paper on National Broadcasting Policy (NBP) admits that that regulation is the need of the hour, but indirectly suggests to Meity “potential regulatory models” that could be adopted.

In addition to the current three-tier regulatory structure specified in the IT Rules, MeitY, according to the FIFS, may consider a three-tier regulatory framework akin to those regulating OTT platforms and introduction of  a registration mechanism mandating all online gaming intermediaries to register with the government.

“This move would boost transparency, accountability, and consumer protection within the online gaming ecosystem,” it stressed in its submission, making it quite clear that online gaming should not be regulated within the framework of a proposed NBP.

Pointing out that the economic impact and growth sparked by the online gaming industry in India, in a relatively short time span, is staggering, FIFS said it was imperative to further fuel this growth by undertaking, at a governmental level, initiatives geared towards ensuring holistic development and regulation of online games in India.

“In this regard, policies such as the MIB’s draft national promotion policy for Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics (AVGC) are commendable and ought to be implemented, at the earliest,” it added.

FIFS is an industry organisation set up for the purpose of promotion of best practices in online fantasy sports services and contests offered in India. Founded in 2017, the body has a total of 43 members who are fantasy sports operators offering their services in India.

The organisation stated that it has also promulgated a Charter for Fantasy Sports Platforms, which serves as a one-stop document for FIFS members to align themselves on and strive towards ensuring that the organisation’s vision of legality, transparency, disclosure and integrity fantasy games is upheld.


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