Meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government in India’s south-eastern coastal region has banned online gambling, with gaming organisers now facing jail time of up to two years.
“The organisers of online games like rummy and poker will be punished with one year imprisonment if caught for the first time,” said AP Information Minister Perni Venkataramaiah.
A second offence will incur two years’ imprisonment plus fines, and people who partake in online gambling will be punished with six months’ imprisonment.
Venkataramaiah added in a media briefing that online gambling has become a vice that afflicts the country’s youth, and necessary amendments will be carried out in the State Gaming Act of 1974.
The decision to ban online gambling comes after reports showing a 21% growth in the Indian online gaming industry during the COVID-19 lockdown.