Apple's Betting App Dilemma: IT Minster Says Government Will Decide

The head of India’s IT regulator has said that government would certify permissible online games until the gaming industry establishes a self-regulatory organization (SRO), a day after Apple sought a "concrete reason or a legal requirement" to take down betting apps from its App Store.

What Happened? Rajeev Chandrasekhar, minister of state for the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY), said that notifications would be sent to platforms like Google and Apple to ensure compliance with the certification process, the Economic Times reported.

Apple has reportedly said that while it hasn't refused to comply with the February order from MeitY to ban 138 betting apps from its App Store, it can't "arbitrarily" remove these apps and make them unavailable in India.

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Chandrasekhar reportedly said that Apple while has removed some apps, the iPhone maker found it difficult to locate the URLs for the remaining apps mentioned in the ban.

Chandrasekhar emphasised the need for immediate action, stating that the government will certify permissible games in the interim period while awaiting the formation of the SRO, which could take 2-3 months.

To address confusion regarding takedown orders for real money gaming apps, the central government plans to write to major internet intermediaries, including Apple and Google, urging them to consult with MeitY.

The minister clarified that only games involving wagering were banned, allowing for different types of online real-money games to continue.

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