The state of Andhra Pradesh follows Tamil Nadu in banning online gaming due to a rise in suicides
The Andhra Pradesh Gaming Amendment Bill-2020 has been adopted by the Legislative Assembly. This bill will see the banning of online gaming in the state. Andhra Pradesh joins the state of Tamil Nadu in the banning of online gaming due to the rise of suicides in young people.
Youngsters were pushed to suicide after amassing high debts while playing online games. Therefore, the Assembly took the decision to implement this Bill to avoid further deaths and to mitigate illegal activity such as money laundering.
Home Minister, M. Sucharitha, explained why they took the decision to ban online gaming within the state:
“It is easy for those sites to defraud the consumers. Also, a lot of security and privacy issues are involved. Accordingly, the government has decided to amend the Act.”
She also explains how regulation is a problem in Andhra Pradesh, since there are little to no regulatory measures to check whether sites are legitimate or not, which subsequently puts the players in danger.
The amendment will see first offenders face one year of imprisonment and a fine of ₹ 5,000, with second offenders facing a potential of two years imprisonment and a fine of ₹ 10,000. Furthermore, the offences will be cognizable and non-bailable.
Cognizable offences are those where the police officer can arrest without a warrant whereas non-bailable means that bail is not a matter of right and the accused will have to appear in court to find out if they are granted bail or not.