The Governor of Tamil Nadu, RN Ravi, has approved the bill banning online gambling today, hours after the Tamil Nadu assembly adopted a resolution requesting the Central Government to set a deadline for the governor to give assent to bills.
This decision is a huge victory for the Tamil Nadu government and various stakeholders who have been seeking a ban on online gambling in the state. According to reports, any person violating the new rules will be fined Rs 5,000 and imprisoned for three months.
The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022, which was recently passed for the second time in the assembly after a rise in suicide cases reportedly due to online rummy, was sent back to the Governor on March 25.
When the first time the bill was passed in the assembly and sent to the Governor for his assent, the Governor had returned the bill after more than 120 days, claiming that the government do not hold the authority to pass the bill.
After clarification from the law minister S Regupathy, the chief minister of the state announced that the same bill will be introduced again in the assembly. Regupathy said that the Governor will have to provide his assent this time under Article 200 of the constitution.
Members of various political parties questioned the reasoning behind the move of the Governor for not giving his assent the first time. Justice K Chandru, the head of the panel that recommended a ban on online gaming, had asked why the Governor promulgated the ordinance in the first place and refused giving his assent to the bill.
Recently, Justice Chandru stated that the Tamil Nadu government will follow its own legislation which might result in a clash between the Centre and the States.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) also released the amendments to the online gaming rules.