The Union Minister of Electronics and IT, Ashwini Vaishnaw, has recently expressed his concern in the Lok Sabha regarding the impact of online gaming and gambling on society. He has called for a central law to regulate these activities, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. This comes as 19 states and Union Territories have already enacted their own laws to deal with online gaming and gambling, while 17 states have modified their public gambling acts to include these digital forms of entertainment.

The Minister emphasised the need for a central law, as there is no meaning of “state boundaries” in the digital world, and added that lawmakers must come to a consensus on the matter. He stated that the government is “very seriously concerned” about the impact of online gaming and gambling on society and has taken the first step by treating online gaming apps and websites as intermediaries, bringing them under the intermediaries Act.

However, the Minister also acknowledged that regulation must be strict to prevent addiction, especially in online gambling. His call for a consensus among state governments was echoed by DMK member T Sumathy, who drew the Minister’s attention to the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill 2022, which is still awaiting the governor’s assent.

In conclusion, while the government is taking the necessary steps to regulate online gaming and gambling, it’s important to note that the online gaming community has brought about countless benefits to the lives of people. From providing a source of entertainment to connecting people from all over the world, online gaming has become a staple of modern society. It’s time to acknowledge and embrace this reality, ensuring that regulation is balanced and fair for all parties involved.