Suicides Spark Ban on Online Gaming in Indian State
by Glenn Baird - December 8, 2020
A state in India has made the move to ban online gaming after it was reported that several young people had committed suicide following the impact of spiralling depts as a result of in-game purchases.
The Andhra Pradesh government explained the demand for legislation that has come from an increase in the accessibility of new technologies and the negative influences that can come from them.
“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,” said state home minister M Sucharitha.
“That makes it really easy for these sites to defraud the customers and it also raises a lot of security and privacy issues.”
The exact details of the bill are yet to be made public but the key headline appears to be that online gaming will be made illegal in the state. What exactly will constitute online gaming exactly is yet to be made entirely clear. However, back in October the government had identified “online gaming, online gambling and online betting” as activities that would become offences under new legislation.
We also know that some 132 different websites have all been highlighted by the government as dangerous and will all be blocked by the state’s central servers so that no one within Andhra Pradesh can access them.
Similar legislation has also been proposed in neighbouring southern states in India, as online gaming grows both in terms of revenue and infamy.
States within India set their own regulations for online gambling. In most instances online gaming is not considered gambling because it is believed to be a game of skill. However, as with all jurisdictions throughout the world, what is and what is not gambling is becoming a grey area. In game purchases might not always involve direct exchanges of money but the gambling aspect still exists and the thrill of winning is one that many feel of not far enough removed from “real” gambling to be considered a separate entity.
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