Tamil Nadu: Ordinance to ban online gaming lapses

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According to reports, even as the governor of Tamil Nadu, R. N. Ravi, did not give his assent to the bill banning online gaming, the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Ordinance would have expired on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday.

On October 1, the state government received assent for the ordinance outlawing online gaming. The Ordinance would expire in accordance with article 213 (2)(a) of the Constitution six weeks after the start of the previous assembly session.

November 27 marked the final date of the six-week period for the ordinance. A senior bureaucrat in the state government confirmed on Sunday saying, “The Ordinance will lapse at midnight.”

Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, a legislative measure, has been introduced by the state assembly and is awaiting the governor’s approval.

Anbumani Ramadoss, the president of the PMK, expressed concern that the expiration of the ordinance and the governor’s failure to sign the legislation will encourage online gaming.

While demanding the immediate approval of legislation, Ramadoss said, “More than 32 people have committed suicide due to online gaming in the last 15 months. In a bid to prevent such a tragedy, a ban on online gaming is a must.”

The bill to replace the ordinance is legally sound and within the parameters of the constitution, according to state law minister S Regupathy, despite governor Ravi’s concerns over its constitutional legitimacy.

Given that a bill of a similar nature was overturned by the Madras High Court previously, the governor has expressed his concerns as a result. After meeting with the governor on Friday, Regupathy told reporters that only gambling was prohibited under the Doctrine of Proportionality, not all online gaming.