Tamil Nadu assembly passes bill banning online gambling games

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Tamil Nadu Law Minister S Regupathy introduced a bill to ban online gambling games in the  legislative assembly today. The Bill called Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling & Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022 replacing an ordinance promulgated on the subject was passed by the Assembly by voice vote.

The ordinance was passed earlier on October 7 by Tamil Nadu governor R.N.Ravi to ban online games like poker and rummy under the category “game of chance”. The ordinance was made after MK Stalin’s government filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging Madras High Court’s judgment on the bill about ban on online games that was struck down in 2021.

Since then the TN government has invited many public opinions on online gambling. PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss also joined hands on the topic of banning online games for stakes claiming they destroy families and have ill-effects on the state’s youth.

N Rangasamy, chief minister of Puducherry, also congratulated the TN government on passing the ordinance, saying, “Congratulations to the government for banning online rummy in Tamil Nadu,” and has also shown interest in banning online rummy and gambling in Puducherry. Currently it’s only in talks but Puducherry local government minister Namachivayath said, “The victims of online rummy games have made this request to ban online gaming”.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the E-gaming Federation (EFG) and All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) urged the TN government earlier not to ban poker and rummy as they are considered a game of skill and not game of chance under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution and a ban might disrupt the online gaming economy.

The bill introduced in the state assembly to ban online gambling games has been passed and will now be used to regulate all online gambling games in the state accordingly.