Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly has passed the AP Gaming Amendment Bill 2020 by voice vote on Tuesday. The bill aims at banning online gaming following the recent incidents of youngsters committing suicide after they were pushed into debt by playing online games.
With the voice vote, the assembly has also passed the Andhra Pradesh Municipal Laws (Second Amendment) Bill 2020. Besides that, three other bills are also passed including AP Fish Feed (Quality Control) Bill, the AP Aquaculture Seed (Quality Control) Amendment Bill, and the Andhra Pradesh Fisheries University Bill 2020.
Talking about the Amendment Bill, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy stated that youngsters are committing suicide after they were pushed into debt after playing online games.
The amendment has been made to the AP Gaming Act, 1974. Home Minister M Sucharita mentioned that online gambling induces criminal behavior in society and increase the number of organized crimes like money laundering and fraud.
“Many internet websites which claim to provide gambling services are not authentic and there are no regulatory measures to check the legitimacy of these sites. That makes it really easy for these sites to defraud the customers and it also raises a lot of security and privacy issues,” the Home Minister said.
Under the approved amendment bill, the first offence attracts imprisonment for up to one year and fine of Rs 5,000. For every subsequent offence. the imprisonment term might extend up to two years and a fine of Rs 10,000. All the offences under the bill are cognizable and non-bailable.