Biggest crackdown on online gambling in India; Andhra Pradesh bans online gambling games, announces imprisonment upto 2 years

In the major step taken by the Andhra Pradesh government against online gambling, it was announced by the Andhra Pradesh Information Minister Perni Venkataramaiah that the online gambling has been banned in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The announcement which came on Thursday, September 3, 2020, stated that the amendments to Andhra Pradesh Gaming Act, 1974 have been approved by the cabinet and the online gambling applications like Rummy, Poker etc. have been banned.

Mr. Venkataramaiah said to the press that the youth were being mislead and were getting addicted to these games. The step has been taken for the welfare of youth and to prevent harm caused to them through the gambling games like these.

While Mr. Venkataramaiah has best interest of the youth in mind, it should be noted that several instances of suicide and attempt to suicide made headlines in the news constantly in this period because of loss of money by the youngsters on these gambling apps and websites.

It is also noteworthy that Enforcement Directorate had come down heavily against Chinese gambling apps over money laundering suspicions last month.

The decision to ban online gambling in the State was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy. Separate punishment has been prescribed against organizers of online gambling games and the ones playing it.

In case of organizers of online gambling, imprisonment of one year along with fine has been prescribed for first time offenders and the jail term up-to two years with fine has been made the law for repeat offenders. A six month sentence has been prescribed against those involved in playing of these online gambling games.

The law against online gambling is uncertain in India, therefore a PIL was filed in Madras High Court by an advocate seeking a ban on these apps. The PIL also demanded arrest of cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Tamannah for promoting such gambling applications.

While, the PIL is in motion, Andhra Pradesh Government has moved to ban online gambling, which can be said to the biggest crackdown against online gambling in India. This might bring down the revenues generated by online gaming companies which were generating record high profits due to these gaming Apps, especially because of COVID-19 situation.

Games like Poker, Rummy etc. have now joined the club of already banned 118 Chinese Apps by the Indian Government.


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