29 Oct 2020 Patrick

Call for Block on all Online Gaming and Gambling Sites and Apps in Andhra Pradesh

Call for Block on All Online Gaming and Gambling Sites and Apps in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday has written to the Centre government asking for all internet service providers in India to enforce a block on all online gaming, gambling, and betting websites and apps in the state.

Writing to Union Minister for Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Chief Minister portrayed the gaming and gambling industry as a growing social menace. He wrote: "It has led to youth getting involved in vices like gambling and betting from the comfort of their home through their mobile phones and computers."

Reddy's government has outlawed online gambling with an amendment to the AP Gaming Act of 1974 but has already stated that enforcing this ban is practically impossible.

In further comments Reddy said: "The managing directors of all the online gaming companies and those involved in running of the companies are liable for punishment under the Act."

"The role of internet service providers can be termed as assisting in case they do not take steps to block access to these websites in the areas where it is illegal."

This latest development marks a noticeable change in tone by the Reddy administration. When the ban on online gaming was announced last month, the government admitted they would not make any attempt to censor or black sites and apps.

It was more of a deterrent move with those being found in the act facing up to a year in jail, with longer penalties for repeat offenders.

Even if the block was to go through, its effectiveness would be questionable with the widespread use of VPNs, and with new sites and apps popping up regularly, making this a thankless ask.

And many readers will spot the irony of this call for a ban when the same government is looking to licence floating casinos in the state as a source of revenue.

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