Online gaming

BJP MP Sushil Modi wants online gambling to be taxed and regulated, say young people who get addicted

File photo of BJP MP Rajya Sabha Sushil Kumar Modi speaking in the Upper House of Parliament, New Delhi | Photo: ANI Photo / SansadTV

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New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sushil Kumar Modi urged the Modi government to regulate and tax online gambling as the ‘booming’ industry is becoming a ‘major addiction’, especially among young people .

“Online gambling is becoming a major addiction. I would like to point out that this sector, like the crypto industry, certainly has a regulatory loophole, ”Modi said in the Rajya Sabha Friday during Zero Hour.

“So I would like to urge the Indian government to impose a flat tax on online gambling. Second, I call on the government to develop a comprehensive framework for regulating online gambling, ”added Modi, Rajya Sabha member from Bihar.

“Otherwise, we won’t be able to prevent our young people from becoming addicted to online games. “

Modi made the comments while raising the question of “the rise of online gaming which has become a big problem for young people in this country”.

“Crores and crores of young people have become addicted to this online game. Because it is online, it is very difficult to prevent kids from becoming addicted to online games. And now that online game has been converted to gambling or betting, ”he said. “And now there is a controversy, is it a game of skill or is it a game of chance? “

Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu acknowledged that this was a “great threat” and asked the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, to take note of the suggestions of Modi and to consult the Ministry of Justice on this matter.

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Sushil Kumar Modi also presented some figures to justify the growing “addiction” to online games in India.

“I would like to tell the House that during the pre-Covid period the weekly time spent on mobile games was two and a half hours. 11% of total smartphone time was spent playing games. And during the lockdown, it went from two and a half to four hours, ”he said, without citing the source of the data.

“And as of today, over 43 crore users / people are on online games. And by 2025 the projection will increase to 65.7 crore (sic). And the earned revenue was Rs 13,600 crore. due to online games, which are expected to rise to Rs 29,000 crore in 2025, ”he said.

The number of app downloads (mobile game downloads in India) in the first quarter of 2020, before Covid, was 1.86 billion, which rose to 3 billion in the third quarter of 2020, he said. added.

The BJP chief said states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and many others have banned online gambling, but it has been overturned by the high courts.

“And games like Ludo King, which we all played when we were young, now crores and crores, people play Ludo King, Poker, Dream11, etc. on card basis,” he said. declared.

An earlier version of the report incorrectly stated that the statement was made during Question Time. Modi was actually speaking during Zero Hour. The error is regretted.

(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)

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