Rajya Sabha member and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi raised concerns over children getting addicted to the world of online gaming. They demanded the government to regulate the online gaming industry and levy necessary uniform tax on it. He mentioned that these online practices may pave the way to gambling and betting. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked Ashwini Vaishnaw, who is Minister of Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, to take note of this issue. “Consult the Law Ministry and do the needful. It’s a big menace," said Naidu as reported by TOI. Modi showed concern over the booming online gaming scenario becoming an obstacle for the youngsters in this country.
“Online gaming is becoming a big addiction. I would like to highlight that this sector, like the crypto industry, certainly has a regulatory lacunae. So, I would urge the government to bring a uniform tax on online gaming. I urge the government to make a comprehensive framework of regulation for online gaming," he said. If there are no regulations, Modi said it will be difficult to stop children from getting addicted.
“Crores and crores of youngsters have become addicted to online gaming. As it is online, it is very difficult to prevent kids from getting addicted. And now this online gaming has been converted into gambling or betting. And now there is a controversy whether it is a game of skill or it is a game of chance," the BJP leader said.
The weekly time spent online on gaming was 2.5 hours during the pre Covid era, while 11% of the total smartphone time was spent on gaming. However, during lockdown, the gaming time has increased to four hours.