Not skill game, it is kill game – Vice Prez Naidu says in Rajya Sabha on online games

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Chairman of Rajya Sabha and Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said skill games are kill games. The remarks came as 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.

Mr. Modi sought a uniform tax on online gaming and urged the government to make a comprehensive framework of regulation for online gaming. “I would like to tell the House that during pre-Covid, weekly time spent on mobile gaming was 2.5 hours and 11 per cent of total smartphone time was spent on gaming. During lockdown, it increased from 2.5 hours to 4 hours and as on today, more than 43 crore people are using online gaming.” Mr. Modi said.

He said online games are becoming a big addiction and like the crypto industry has a regulatory lacuna. “Sir, States like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, many of them have banned this online gaming, but it was struck down from the High Courts.”

In the end, Naidu asked Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister for Electronics & Information Technology to take note of what has been said and consult the law ministry. “It is a big menace; not skill game, it is kill game,” Naidu said in the end. Sushil Modi also took names of Dream11, Mobile Premier League in his speech.

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. The queries posed as starred questions will be answered orally on December 8.

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.