The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday declared online gambling activities illegal. State Information Minister Perni Venkataramaiah — better known locally as Nani — announced the decision after a Cabinet meeting. However, the government will not block any gambling apps and websites that offer stakes in poker, rummy, or similar games. Instead, it will make such activity a cognizable offence by amending the AP Gaming Act, 1974. Citizens will still be able to access these services, but now they can be prosecuted if caught. In a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, Venkataramiah said that per the new laws "organisers" of online gambling activity could be jailed for a year, and for two years in case of repeated convictions. The players themselves can be jailed for six months. "There are a lot of companies that are offering gambling serves online. They are taking our youth on the wrong path. This is why the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government has decided to make illegal all gambling activity like rummy and poker," he said. A government order to this effect will be issued in the coming days. Technically, not a ban on online gambling Kumar Vishwajeet, principal secretary at the state home department, confirmed to MediaNama that the government will not be banning any mobile applications or websites within the state. It will only issue an ordinance to amend the existing AP Gaming Act, 1974 with an ordinance to make online gambling a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Until now, due to an absence…
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