The Centre has made an important step towards bringing online content providers, including online gaming services and online marketing, under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B). The move is part of the government's ongoing attempts to improve regulation and control in the fast changing digital sector.

The notification, issued by President Draupadi Murmu, includes "films and Audio-Visual programmes/content made available by online content providers/publishers" within the ambit of the "Ministry of Information and Broadcasting" in the Second Schedule of the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. This sets the path for the I&B Ministry to exert its power over digital content distribution.

One of the most important consequences of this announcement is that the Ministry of I&B now has the authority to oversee laws governing gaming content platforms and online marketing. Previously, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Information Technology Act of 2000 were largely in charge of these areas.

The initiative to control internet media began in March 2018, when the then-Minister of I&B, Smriti Irani, suggested steps to monitor digital content creators. This approach appears to be inspired by the expanding importance of online platforms and the need to protect users from harmful or exploitative material.

The government has previously made substantial moves towards regulating online gaming in April by amending the IT Rules, 2021. The legislation sought to regulate "online real money games," in which users risked money to participate. This action targeted addiction and fraudulent practices in the online gaming sector.

Simultaneously, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting published a new advisory warning media companies, platforms, and online intermediaries to stay away from running commercials supporting betting and gambling sites. The government strongly condemned the publication of such advertisements in mainstream English and Hindi media, emphasising the need for stronger monitoring.

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