Breaking: Tamil Nadu assembly passes Online Gambling Ban Bill for second time

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The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022 has been unanimously passed for the second time by the Assembly today after Governor RN Ravi returned the bill earlier this month on March 8 requesting additional details and claiming that the state government did not have the authority to pass the bill.

Before presenting the Bill again, TN chief minister MK Stalin expressed his grief regarding people who committed suicides due to losing money in online rummy saying, “I am standing here with a heavy heart. Forty-one people have lost their lives due to online gambling.”

Speaking on the Online Gambling Ban Bill with the legislators, Stalin said, “Please pass the Bill unanimously. This is a Bill passed not just with the mind, but also our hearts. We might have a difference of opinions in ideologies and politics, but no one with a heart can have a difference of opinion over gambling that kills people.”

He said that states have the authority to enact laws on gambling, citing a recent Lok Sabha response from Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, who responded to a question from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP SR Parthiban which hinted that states have the authority to enact laws regarding “betting and gambling”.

Speaking on sending the bill to the Governor, Stalin said, “This bill will be again sent to the governor. We may have political differences, but lives are involved in online gambling. State Government has the right to take care of people. Union Minister Anurag Thakur himself has told Parliament that the state government has the right to bring a law against online gambling in response to a question asked by DMK MP SR Parthiban.”

The decision to reintroduce the Bill was made at a state Cabinet meeting that was convened shortly after the Bill was returned. S Regupathy, the state law minister, had previously assured the media that the Bill will be reintroduced and that any amendments made by the legislators would also be adopted.

Regupathy had also said that the Governor would not be able to return the Bill the second time and would have to give his assent. In accordance with Article 200 of the Constitution, which addresses the Governor’s authority to consent to bills, the Governor must not refuse to assent to a bill that has been voted by the House a second time, with or without revisions.