India: Andhra Pradesh declares online gambling games illegal

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh has imposed a ban on online games warning that violators will be imprisoned for six months and organizers will be jailed for one year.

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The decision to prohibit online games such as Rummy and Poker was taken by the state cabinet chaired by the Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy as part of its wider agenda to curb activities causing despair among poor families.

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The cabinet decided to bring an amendment to the AP Gaming Act 1974 declaring playing or organizing such games a crime. Repeat offenders will be sentenced to two years imprisonment, state information minister Perni Venkatramaiah said.

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Chief Minister decided to bring in the new law in view of complaints on a large scale on online betting in the state which has left families financially shattered. The cabinet noted that such online games were creating disturbances.

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“Gambling has become a vice which was damaging the youth by misleading them”, the minister said. “We have decided to ban such on line gambling to protect the youth”.

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Andhra Pradesh government took the step weeks after Madurai bench of Madras High Court had asked the government of India and state governments to pass laws banning online games involving money.

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Telangana government has already imposed a ban on Rummy online.

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