Lok Sabha: MP raises issue of gambling apps under the guise of fantasy sports

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Churu MP Rahul Kaswan has raised the issue of online gambling and betting websites and mobile apps in the name of fantasy gaming under Rule 377. He said that the young generation is being addicted to betting through online websites. The MP said that during the Corona crisis, there has been a huge increase in the usage of mobile data in the country.

The two time MP said the mental condition of the youth has also started deteriorating. “Young men and women are trapped in debt are also taking their steps towards crime, which will have very dangerous consequences in the coming times.”

The number of apps offering illegal betting services has increased drastically. The apps are also promoted by celebrities. There have been reports of many youths of the country getting trapped in these clutches, the MP said.

Last December, Sushil Modi, senior BJP leader of Bihar and former Deputy CM of Bihar raised the issue of online gaming in Rajya Sabha during the zero hour. A total of 21 MPs associated with the issue raised by Sushil Modi. These include members from AITC, RJD, NCP, Congress, BJP, BJD, MDMK, IUML, and DMK.

It may be noted that over 100 complaints against advertisements related to “online real money gaming” have been processed by the Advertising Standards Council of India since January last year, the government told the Lok Sabha. The guidelines issued by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) that came into effect on December 15, 2020, require real money gaming advertisements to not be aimed at minors, not present gaming as a possible source of livelihood or link it to success.

In the Lok Sabha, Sikar MP Swami Sumedhanand Saraswati and Bharatpur MP Ranjeeta Kohli raised questions regarding any proposal for the ban of internet games in the December session.

Recently, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has indicated that the ‘Draft Guiding Principles for the Uniform National-level Regulation of Online Fantasy Sports Platforms in India’ released by the NITI Aayog in December 2020 as well as the need for a central regulatory framework for online gaming in India may be deliberated upon by the Council of Ministers.