TN Governor approves Online Gambling Bill

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The Governor of Tamil Nadu (TN) RN Ravi today approved the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022 to replace the ordinance and ban any kind of online gaming.

According to media reports the bill has been passed by the Governor and the law will come into force soon.

Earlier in September, a draft to ban online gaming for stakes was formed and approved by the TN cabinet and sent to the Governor which he approved on October 7 to put a halt on any kind of online gaming.

A bill was subsequently formed by the TN Law Minister S Regupathy called the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling & Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022 and introduced in the legislative assembly on October 19 which was passed on the same day.

The move to ban all online gaming for stakes originated as people, most prominently PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss, alleged that these kinds of games destroy families and have a bad impact on the youth. Games like online poker and rummy were included in the ban under the category of ‘game of chance’.

Many debates have taken place since then. The E-Gaming Federation (EGF) was even set to challenge the ordinance as they believe poker and rummy are categorized under ‘game of skill’ by the Supreme Court and a ban on online gaming last year was struck down by the Madras High Court (HC) saying “blanket ban on gaming for stakes in skill games was in violation of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution which allows people the right to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade, or business.”

The EGF, in their pursuit to take legal action against the TN government, said that banning these online games would have a huge impact on the online gaming economy and it would be a direct violation of the orders of the Supreme Court.