Indian State of Andhra Pradesh Hammers Down on Online Gambling

Online gambling has been banned in Andhra Pradesh, sighting that it is the cause of an increase in suicide, amongst, the younger population in India. Games such as poker and rummy are punishable by jail time if anyone is caught playing online. Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, for Andhra Pradesh, said that the Gambling Act of 1974, was reviewed and the decision was made by the cabinet, to ban online gambling. Despite the ban, many people are still trying to access these sites, illegally.

Youth at Risk

Gambling is made to look attractive and attracts many young people because casinos use celebrities to advertise and entice young people to gamble. An applicant from Chennai appealed to the authorities to arrest cricket captain Virat Kohli and Tamannah Bahtia, a Bollywood actress, for promoting the very thing that is causing young people to take their own lives, after getting involved with these activities.

Why the Ban

Since most of the gaming that takes place via the online sites are offshore, Avinash Mehrotra, a fighter for social matters, asked the High Court in Delhi, to stop illegal wagering and betting. Chief Justice Menon decided to seek external assistance in this regard. Mehrotra reiterated that since all the betting takes place outside of the country, that the country is losing revenue on an ongoing basis. Some social activists are of the opinion that casino operators exploit Indian players and therefore feel that the ban should be implemented.

Legal Implications

If anyone is caught gambling on these sites, according to the new laws that have been passed, they will face imprisonment, for up to a year. If venues are hosting these kinds of facilities, they too face jail time, of up to 2 years. Players at these establishments will face 6 months in jail.

Raids have taken place over the last couple of months resulting in 23 people being arrested at Green Park Resort and a further 58 in Delhi, for illegal gambling in a basement in Ghitorni village. These illegal gatherings are normally arranged via WhatsApp, to prevent authorities from being alerted.

The syndicates' operations are so undercover, that bettors are even allowed to place bets on the WhatsApp platform. Besides, being apprehended for illegal gambling, there were many other charges added to this particular raid. While gambling remains illegal in the majority of India, it is still allowed in Goa and Sikkim.

Advika Kochar Photo Advika Kochar

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