The Indian province of Andhra Pradesh has implemented a blanket ban on online gambling within its borders.
Amendments to the 1974 Gaming Act were made after the state’s Council of Ministers agreed to do so.
It is intended that the measures will help to protect the 49.8 million people who live there from gambling-related harm.
The restrictions will mainly target games such as online rummy and poker, with those who participate in such activities facing jail time.
First-time offenders will be locked away in prison for a year, with repeat offenders facing double that sentence – as well as a fine. Players who participate in online gambling, meanwhile, face six months behind bars.
Earlier this year, State President Somu Veerraju put in a request to ban online gambling in Andhra Pradesh. He confirmed the punishment guidelines via social media.
Other changes in India
At the moment, the 29 provinces of India are given the autonomy to make their own decisions on gambling laws. The only centralised law at the moment is ‘public gambling houses’ are banned across the country.
As a result of political tensions between India and China, the Indian government has banned various mobile apps from Chinese developers over the past couple of months.
There have been discussions in the world’s second-most-populated country about how gambling legislation can be made more coherent. Media, tech, sports and entertainment stakeholders in the country have mentioned that the 1867 Public Gaming Act is in need of an update.
MPS, however, are yet to agree on which gambling regulations should be made federal law.
The country is in the process of finalising the reformed 2000 Information Technology Act. This will likely include various amendments and protections related to consumer laws, data protection and digital services.