Tamil Nadu: BJP MLA Vanathi Srinivasan reaffirms party will support proposed ban on online gambling

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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vanathi Srinivasan has stated that the party will support the proposed ban on online gambling, amid the continuing attempts of the Tamil Nadu government to outlaw online rummy and poker.

Srinivasan, who is the National President of the BJP’s Women’s Wing and an MLA from Coimbatore South, also said that the party has no “alternative opinions” on the matter of prohibition of online rummy and other games.

“For us, online rummy should be banned to save people. The government should not consider this as a matter of honor, but should pay attention to it legally,” Srinivasan said to reporters, as quoted by CNBCTV18.

The BJP has had the same stance on the issue in the past as well. The AIADMK-led NDA government had attempted to enforce a similar prohibition on online gambling in 2021 but the Madras High Court invalidated it. The government, at that time, had not provided enough evidence and justification for its law, according to the court.

Following that, last year, MK Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government formed an ordinance to ban online gambling in the state. The ordinance was then introduced in the Legislative assembly as a bill called ‘The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022′.

Upon its passing, the Bill was sent to Governor RN Ravi for his assent. No action was taken on it for five months until recently when he sent it back to the Assembly for reconsideration, with reports claiming that the Governor believed that the state administration lacked “legislative competence” to impose such a prohibition.

At the time, BJP state president K. Annamalai reaffirmed the party’s support for outlawing online gambling and requested that the state government make the Governor’s letter regarding the bill public so that everyone may grasp the situation.

Meanwhile, Law Minister S Regupathy informed that the bill will be re-enacted and sent back to the Governor.

“We don’t understand on what grounds the Governor has said that the Assembly doesn’t have the authority when the court has made it clear. As per the law, he cannot deny assent to a Bill sent to him for the second time,” he said.

“The Cabinet decided to place the bill before the Assembly once again to be approved and sent back to the Governor,” he stated after a cabinet meeting which discussed the matter.