INTRO: Having announced a ban on digital betting platforms last month, the Andhra Pradesh government is now looking to enforce the new law by banning dozens of websites and applications that it accuses of promoting ‘harmful activities’. That’s according to NDTV Gadgets, which claims that Andhra CM, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, has written to the Center with a demand to issue a blocking order for 132 sites and apps that he accuses of facilitating online gambling and betting.
In a letter addressed to the Union Minister for Communications and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Reddy said that the Center needs to intervene in the matter because it is a matter of utmost importance to society. According to the report, some of the notable websites that have earned the wrath of the Andhra CM include the likes of EA.com, MiniClip, Zapak and others, many of which do not apparently have anything to do with gambling.
The ones that do come under the purview of online gambling include services like MPL EA.com, (Mobile Premier League) and Paytm First Games which offer ‘fantasy sports’ platforms that often promote ‘games of chance’ rather than ‘games of skill’, thereby matching the profile of online gambling platforms as described by the Andhra legislation. In fact, the Paytm offering also recently came under the scanner from Google for allegedly offering gambling services in violation of Play Store policies.
That said, many are questioning why Reddy’s blacklist includes legitimate video gaming sites while overlooking actual betting apps that feature games like Rummy and Poker which promote betting with real money. Either way, now that the Andhra government is looking to increase the list of banned sites in the state, it will be interesting to see if the Modi government will give in to the demand and issue an order to ISPs to block all the sites on Reddy’s blacklist.