The minister said he had a meeting with the information technology ministers of all the states, and they all raised serious concerns about the behavioral changes they were bringing about in society. People, the IT ministers said at the meeting, were becoming addicted to online games, and this was damaging social harmony, the minister said in an interaction with reporters in Bangalore.
All political parties, be it the BJP, Congress or regional parties were on the same page on the issue, as a result, the Center had started a stakeholder consultation process, Vaishnaw said.
The Minister’s response came in response to a query about attempts by many state governments to enact a strict law to deal with the online gambling industry, but failed in the courts of law due to legal failures. Karnataka’s former Justice Minister S Suresh Kumar wrote to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week urging her to ban the marketing of online games to attract people, including through phone calls and text messages. . In separate letters, she said that she was aware of the court rulings allowing online skill games and that the Supreme Court was currently aware of the matter. But the government might consider banning its marketing by online game companies in the interest of young people and save them from falling victim to such games.
“I am receiving verbal complaints from various friends and parents of residents in my own constituency as well as other parts of Bangalore that they have been receiving unsolicited text messages and marketing calls on their mobile phones trying to tempt or coerce them into playing rummy. online gambling their money.As part of their marketing strategy they offer a welcome bonus of thousands of rupees to entice them and get them addicted to the game.Some people even told me that blocking these numbers had been of no use. and these messages as calls keep coming from new numbers,” Kumar, a BJP MLA from Bengaluru, said in his letter.
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Tamil Nadu is the latest to join states in passing a bill in the Assembly banning online gambling including rummy and poker, and the bill is before Governor RN Ravi. The E-Gaming Federation recently met with the Governor to try to explain the interpretations of the Supreme Court and High Courts, insisting that games like poker and rummy had been clearly identified as games of skill.
Karnataka recently moved to the High Court to challenge the High Court ruling earlier this year that struck down some key amendments to the Karnataka Police Act of 1963, to ban gambling on online games.