The government of Telangana’s decision to ban online rummy contradicts its previous policy of inviting investments into the online gambling industry. Now that the government has amended its laws to criminalize online rummy, all those who play online will be prosecuted and those who promote the game will be penalized. The Telangana state cabinet approved an amendment to existing gambling laws before sending it to E.S.L Narasimhan, the state governor.
Three months back, the government of Telangana had created a gambling policy that was investor friendly. The policy proposed a series of incentives for companies willing to invest in the state’s online gambling industry. But the people of Telangana were clearly upset by increased player interest in online gambling. In response to public complaints against addiction to online gambling, the chief minister requested state officials to amend existing laws to ban online rummy.
The present government of Telangana is known for its anti online gambling stance. It has always cracked down on land-based card clubs and gambling clubs, forcing them to pull down their shutters. However, the government supported and promoted online card games after forcing land-based card clubs to shut down. The police soon started receiving complaints from the public of addiction to gambling and financial loss.
The state cabinet of Telangana then passed three ordinances. Accordingly, the Prevention of Detention (PD) Act has now been amended to include provisions to cracks down on fake certificates, food adulteration, and spurious seeds. After the amendment, which was passed on Saturday, the PD Act includes 10 offences such as diversion of rice meant for public distribution, food adulteration, sexual harassment, gambling, cyber crime, creation of fake documents and certificates, spurious seeds, forest offenders, land encroaching, and white-collar offences.
Previously these offences were not included under the PD Act. Most of the cases that the police registered under the PD Act held no water in a court of law, and this created a lot of embarrassment to the Government of Telangana.
The state cabinet has also passed another ordinance to enable the investigation of business transactions of up to six years old of traders. The intention of this amendment is to review the trade activities of businessmen and to prevent them from evading taxes after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) has been introduced.
The cabinet has also proposed amending the Registrar of Revenue (RoR) to cancel discretionary powers given to sub-registrars to prevent land scams in future.