Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji

Tougher law against gambling can curb gambling: MoHCA Lyonpo

The Member of Parliament (MP) of Jomotsangkha-Martshala constituency, Norbu Wangzom, during the Question Hour Session questioned the Minister for Home and Cultural Affairs (MoHCA) on the measures taken to prevent gambling in the country. 

Responding to the MP, Lyonpo Ugyen Dorji said that the gambling has caused various negative impacts on personal level and family level.

Despite having laws to curb gambling, it keeps happening which is worrisome and concerning, Lyonpo said.

In one year, Department of Law and Order (DLO) circulated two notifications to alert the people on gambling being illegal, and to refrain from indulging in it. Likewise, in just one year’s time, the police received 12 cases and convicted around 27 people involved in online gambling.

He added, “Though it is reflected as crime in PCB, the grading is very minimum, a petty misdemeanor. Review is being carried out, and I feel that minimum grading could be one reason on why gambling is rampant despite having a law.”

He further said that if the Parliament can see the possibility of reviewing the grading or if there are ways to incept laws to penalize online gaming. For now, it is difficult for RBP to track down online gambling, he said, adding that RBP would take up the matter seriously if everyone takes up the responsibility and report such incidences.

“It would be hard to detain all the suspects, given the small prison space. Therefore, I feel that educating from primary school level would be the best solution. Teachers and parents can play a vital role in this,” he added. 

He said the Members of Parliament also have a role to play as laws can be changed in the Parliament.

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