This new law comes from a statement from Information Minister Parni Venkatatamaiah, saying that online gambling has quickly become a vice that damages youth and misleads them. To take action, online gambling has been banned to protect the youth of India.
New Ban on Online Gambling – Andhra Pradesh Law Changes
Some new changes are in effect in regards to online gambling. The Andhra Pradesh government has recently decided to place a ban on online games such as poker and rummy. It is believed that these types of online games force young gamblers in the wrong direction, so the government is taking action.
Based on the latest Cabinet decision, any organizer of online gambling will face jail time of up to a year in addition to being penalized for the first offense. If there is a second offense, the jail time can be increased to 2 years. Also, anyone that is found to be engaging in online games will face a possible sentence of 6 months.
Since the COVID-19 lockdown, this Indian state has seen a drastic increase in online gambling activities. With reports showing a 21% increase across India, online gambling has caused some major concerns for the government in regard to financial hardship among the residents. There are also concerns about the increase in problem gambling. As a result. These new laws have been put into place to curb online gambling and to protect the youth and poor families in the state.
With this new information, many gamblers from this state in India will have the wrong idea of the changes to laws. The government will not be blocking any foreign operating apps or websites within the state. The laws instead will issue an ordinance that will amend the AP Gaming Act 1974 with a new ordinance that will make online gambling a non-bailable offense. Up until this point, there was an absence of legislation pertaining to online gambling.
The government stated that they will not be blocking any foreign sites, but if players are caught engaging in online gambling, they can face jail time and fines. In the past, anyone who was playing games online would suffer a simple offense, but now it is a cognizable one, making this ban a law.
The state government of Andhra Pradesh will not prosecute any foreign sites or apps that are offering gambling services. While the new law is not absolute, it is hopeful that it will serve as a deterrent. Apps and gambling sites will continue to offer services, but players are being asked not to engage in any real money play. Getting caught will result in jail time, so many are taking this new ban quite seriously.
What Games are Actually Banned?
The new laws in Andhra Pradesh target restrictions on online rummy and poker services. Any game that is considered to be a game of skill will fall under the new ban and will not be accessible to players in this Indian state.
This includes the popular games of poker and rummy and any other form of a casino game like slots, baccarat, video poker, and other games that are popular with gamblers. Those that choose to engage in online play will be taking a risk. If they are caught playing for money and profits, they can be imprisoned for up to 6 months based on this new law.
The only remaining online betting option in Andhra Pradesh is horse betting. Even with this, there are restrictions. While there are many sites that allow Indian bettors to wager on horse races, those in Andhra Pradesh can only legally wager on a horse race at an actual race course or at OCTC counters.
Individual Indian States and Online Betting
Under the 7th Schedule of the Constitution of India, gambling and forms of gambling is a state subject. Each state will have the ability to make laws and enact them when it comes to gambling.
All states are completely free to formulate laws under the Constitution, though most Indian states have no provisions in place that pertain to online gambling. Most of the laws that are active are based on the Public Gambling Act, 1867.
The gambling laws in Andhra Pradesh imposes restrictions on gambling and also does not allow the use of any land-based venues for gambling with the intent to generate profits or monetary gains. The laws also strictly define games of luck, which are completely illegal, and games of skill, which are legal. Until now, online games like poker and rummy were not addressed in any Indian law or state laws.
Depute the latest news on this ban of online gaming, residents still have options when it comes to playing games for money online.
Since the new laws will not block any websites or apps, it is possible to still engage in play at off-shore sites that are licensed and regulated. These sites will accept Andhra Pradesh residents and allow them to open and manage a real money account, thus presenting them with options to engage in games like poker and rummy online.
Online casinos will not ban individual players and will not report them to the government. However, players will run the risk of getting caught playing games online. Since the laws are very new, having just passed in September 2020, they serve as a deterrent at this time. The threatened jail time may dissuade some players from engaging in online gambling, but many will continue to take their chances at play at trusted and reliable sites in other countries.