If there is a law preventing a state from enacting online gambling act, please present it: S Regupathy to Centre

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Tamil Nadu Law Minister S Regupathy has again contested the argument that the state government has no authority to enact a law to ban online gaming. This comes after yesterday’s hearing in the Madras High Court where Senior Advocates, representing the online gaming companies, argued that the state banning online gaming is a direct violation of various courts’ orders including of its division bench.

“During the last AIADMK rule, a case was filed against the amendment act which was brought by including three laws,” explained Regupathy. He added that it has been mentioned in the court’s judgment that there is no objection in bringing a new law after considering the reasons indicated in the judgment given by the Madras High Court in that case.

However, as per the Central government’s lawyer the state government has no right to file an appeal against that judgement of the Madras High Court. Regupathy added that the lawyer said the Central government had made a law to that effect but he is not aware of it, and if there is, he asked them to provide it.

Regupathy further added that the state government has enacted the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022 under Articles 33, 34 (i), 34 (xi) of the State List as per the Constitution.

The Law Minister claimed that the Supreme Court classified rummy as a game of skill only when it is played offline as it can be altered when played online due to the involvement of technology. This is one of the reasons why online gamers lose money and lives, he added.

In the hearing yesterday, the online gaming company lawyers complained that the report submitted by Justice (retired) Chandru-led committee did not give their clients a chance to present their point of view.

Meanwhile, the matter will be listed again on August 1 with Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal, representing the state of Tamil Nadu, responding to the arguments put forward by the advocates representing online gaming companies.