Tamil Nadu to set up Online Gaming Authority soon

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New reports suggest that the Tamil Nadu state government will set up an Online Gaming Authority in a few days to put the Online Gambling Prohibition Act into effect. The Online Gaming Authority is said to be headed by a retired chief secretary of the state as its chairman.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin recently gazetted the bill banning online gambling. Under the bill, people who encourage others to engage in online gambling and advertise or promote the activity may be sentenced to up to one year in prison or a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh, or sometimes both.

Further, people who are caught gambling or taking part in a similar activity will be fined up to Rs 5,000 and three months under prison. The people providing these services will be fined Rs 10 lakh and three years of imprisonment.

Things are now moving fast in Tamil Nadu after Governor RN Ravi gave his assent to the bill after it was re-enacted and sent to him for the second time. Prior to that, people were criticizing the Governor for not giving his assent the first time even after all the doubts were clarified.

Retd. Justice K Chandru, the committee head that formed the online gambling ban bill, asked why did the Governor approve the ordinance that was banning the online rummy in the state but refused to give his assent to the same thing when it was made into a bill.

Ban to improve current situation of online gaming in state

According to reports, the suicide cases dues to people losing money on online gambling has reached around 50 in the state. With the Governor approving the bill, the government has also sprung in action, with the latest step being the removal of gambling ads from public transport vehicles.

All the state transport have removed the banners for online gambling platforms that were previously located on the back of the public transport.

While the ban was justified for gambling websites and apps, skill games like poker, fantasy sports app, rummy were also banned in the crossfire labelled as chance games. Industry body, All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) have announced that they will be challenging the law banning these games in court.