Diwali has now passed in India, but local authorities are already expressing deep concern about the upcoming January festival of Sankranti. Police have reported an enormous uptick in various gambling, including online casinos, cockfights, and physical gambling dens. Plus, according to some sources, the problem are being exacerbated by celebrity endorsement of the bad behaviour.
In Visakhapatnam, located in Andhra Pradesh, police are specifically struggling with cockfights. Authorities explained that traditionally the activity is not overly popular in the area, but that guilty parties have been evading capture for some time.
Additionally, it has been explained that due to the world health crisis, online casino activity has also spiked dramatically, well beyond expected levels.
The Madras High court has been particularly vocal about the chaos, pointing to one of the most devastating statistics of all; a wave of suicides experienced across the country, reportedly related to online casinos. Word is that massive gambling debt is being incurred by those stuck indoors due to the health crisis, ultimately resulting in them taking their own lives.
In response to this crushing news, the high court has been calling on the Tamil Nadu government to provide some sort of plan regarding regulations.
No official government word has yet been given on the situation, although it is widely believed that chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami is planning some sort of online casino ban. This ban has not yet been confirmed, but speculation is rife that an announcement will be made in the near future.
Meanwhile, the Madras High court has also directly addressed local celebrities, warning them to stop encouraging poor behaviour in their fans. A representative urged cricket and Bollywood stars in particular, telling them that encouraging gambling did not serve the public well.
Regardless of the intentions of the court, or minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, it seems as if restricting gambling in India is a lost cause. Despite authorities being prepared for the week long Diwali holiday, the situation was very much reported as being dramatically out of control. Hundreds were arrested over the course of the week, all relating to some or other game of chance.
The high court made one more statement, this time directly to the Tamil Nadu government. A representative called for solid decisions to be made, and for the ongoing chaos to be brought under some kind of control. It was stressed that online casinos and other gambling needed to be properly legalised and regulated, or banned outright.