The vice president of the Andhra Pradesh unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), S. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, wrote a letter on 22nd May 2020 to the state’s Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, urging him to ban online rummy and other betting games in the state.
Vishnuvardhan Reddy said that enticing advertisements from online gaming companies lure youth with the promise of lucrative returns on their investments. This has led to even educated youth becoming addicted to online gambling and betting.
In 2018, the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu also indicated that regulation or ban on card games like rummy and poker was in the pipeline, as he spoke about focus, coordination of mind and skill involved in playing card games while warning against their harmful effects involving addiction.
Vishnuvardhan Reddy, in his recent letter, said that the state should follow the footsteps of Telangana that banned online rummy and other online games played for real money or stakes in 2017.
In 2017, the Telangana government established Telangana State Gaming (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 (Ordinance No. 4 of 2017), which added the term ‘cyber space’ within the meaning of common gaming house, making betting and gambling through the internet and other digital means illegal.
As per a report in The Hindu, many online gambling addicted youth are resorting to economic offences and anti-social activities. The report also said that a few of them also attempted suicide, causing worry among parents.
In July 2019, the State Minister for Tourism, Culture and Youth Advancement, Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao alias Avanthi Srinivas raised the issue online rummy spoiling the lives of many youth at a conference of District Collectors and Superintendents of Police in the presence of the state’s Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy. To this, Reddy reacted by stating that the Andhra Pradesh government will introduce a legislation to ban online rummy in the legislative assembly of the state.