Many online gaming and betting sites might be banned in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Chief Minister of the state, Y.S Jaganmohan Reddy has written a letter to Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Communications, Electronics, Information Technology and Law & Justice, requesting him to direct Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block online gaming, gambling and betting websites and apps in the state.
Online gaming, gambling and betting were recently declared by the State as illegal under the A.P. Gaming Act, 1974. One of the main features of the Act is making those assisting in the operation of online gaming, gambling and betting liable for punishment and these cannot be stopped without the assistance of Internet Service Providers.
Jaganmohan Reddy, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in a letter to the union minister mentioned, ““This is where the role of ISPs can be termed as the assisting factor as the websites are not blocked. Stopping illegal gaming and betting is not possible without cooperation of ISPs. They should be instructed to block the websites to help the government curb the menace.”
He further added in the letter that online gaming and betting were soon becoming severe social evils, due to the youth indulging in them from the comfort of their home through their mobile phones and computer. He stated that there was a widespread of public suicides due to addiction, loss of money and general aloofness among the youth caused by online gaming and betting. Along with the letter, a list of 132 related websites and apps asking the Centre to act upon them was also attached.
However, many of the apps in the list from the CM are defined in many parts of the country as “games of skill” and not “games of chance”, and therefore are not seen as gambling. But for Andhra Pradesh, the AP Gambling Act, 1974 was amended this September to include online gaming, online gambling, and online gambling as an offence.
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