Light touch regulation the way forward for online gaming: Rakesh Maheshwari, MeitY

June 29, 2022

Speaking at the virtual roundtable ‘Power-Up’ to the Gamers: Empowering Consumers in the Online Gaming World’ co-organised by CUTS and Nishith Desai Associates, Mr Rakesh Maheshwari, Scientist G and Group Coordinator, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology remarked that deliberations are ongoing within the government to identify a nodal ministry for online gaming.

The idea is to design a light touch regulatory framework to ensure innovation and player protection go hand in hand.

Mr. Maheshwari also stated that online gaming operators are also intermediaries and will need to comply with Intermediary Rules and its amendments and also with SPDI Rules as body corporate. Highlighting concerns about privacy, data protection, suspicious foreign and unregulated operators, he mentioned that grievance redress and consumer protection needs to be paramount.

Mr. Pradeep S Mehta, Secretary General, Consumer Unity & Trust Society, pointed out the importance of optimal regulation. Any regulatory framework should consider costs and benefits on different stakeholders, particularly gamers and start-ups. It should also be enforceable.

To this end, he remarked that there is a need to undertake an ex-ante Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), while thinking about a regulatory framework for the sector. Mr. Mehta also highlighted co-regulation with adequate consumer representation as one of the possible way forwards.

Other members on the panel were Ms Gowree Gokhale, Partner, Nishith Desai Associates, Mr Sameer Barde, CEO, E-Gaming Federation and Ms Shivani Jha, Director, eSports Players Welfare Association. The panellists discussed legal, industry, and players perspectives, including the standards set by industry associations, and the need for awareness generation and capacity building among consumers.

The need for a dispassionate non-partisan consumer survey was agreed by the panellists, to understand and highlight players’ perspectives, expectations, and concerns in online gaming. CUTS intends to undertake the same and work with industry, government, and other stakeholders. The discussion witnessed participation from around 50 stakeholders.


For further details, contact:

Prince Gupta, (, Neelanjana Sharma, (, and/ or Vijay Singh, CUTS (