Amaravati: In a cabinet meeting on Thursday, the Andhra Pradesh government took the decision of banning online games like rummy and poker across the state to protect its youth from going astray.
The cabinet that met under the chairmanship Andhra Pradesh of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy took the decision to ban online gambling, Information Minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) said.
Briefing reporters at the end of the cabinet meet, the Minister said online gambling has become a vice that was damaging the youth by ‘misleading’ them. “So we have decided to ban all such online gambling to protect the youth,” Nani said.
According to the Cabinet decision, organizers of online gambling will be jailed for a year, besides being penalized, for a first-time offense. The jail term would go up to two years with a fine for the second offense. Also, those caught playing the online games will attract a jail term of six months, the minister added.
Not only just youth, many people who lost their jobs and had no salary were seeking online money games and were falling prey to such traps.
Speaking to a leading daily, a law official said, “It is high time such games are banned in the larger public interest at a time when coronavirus wreaked socio-economic havoc, in the same manner as the Centre did in the case of some Chinese apps.”
However, according to recent reports, Prakasam police have already taken up a campaign at the grassroots level to stop people, especially youth, from playing such games.