Karnataka proposes law to ban online games

Basavaraj Bommai  

Can a ban help address the growing problem of gaming addiction, especially among the youth? The Karnataka government seems to think so and is considering promulgating a law to ban online games.

“They have turned our youth into addicts, pushing them into a debt trap and other crimes,” said Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai at the Chief Minister’s Police Medal investiture ceremony at the Vidhana Soudha here on Friday. According to Mr. Bommai, online games, especially those that are paid or take money as bets, have ruined the lives of many people in the State. “We have received complaints from parents. Once the youth are addicted, we have seen cases where they get involved in various nefarious activities to fund their gaming addiction as well,” he said.

He said the government would study laws in other States that regulated online gamesand draft a regulatory legal framework.

Andhra Pradesh, for instance, recently sought a ban on online gaming and online betting and wrote to the Union government seeking to get 132 websites/apps blocked in the State.

The Union government also recently banned PUBG, an online game, over its China links.

However, a senior official said that while online gaming and gambling was fast turning into a social menace, it could not be entirely banned. Many of them were categorised as skill games and enjoy legal protection, the official said.

“For instance, horse racing has now begun taking bets online. We need to identify the problem areas and define them properly in order to regulate the space effectively,” the official added.

Meanwhile, at the investiture ceremony, 122 and 121 policemen were awarded the CM Police Medal for 2017 and 2018 respectively.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:14:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnataka-proposes-law-to-ban-online-games/article33145064.ece

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