Not blaming Governor, asking him not to delay assent to Gaming Ban Bill: TN Law Minister

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The Tamil Nadu (TN) government stated on Saturday that they were not blaming Governor R.N Ravi for the delay in giving his assent to the Gaming Ban bill but were instead “insisting” that he gives his approval to it.

The law minister S Regupathy was also hoping that the Governor would sign The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022 as the questions raised by Ravi on December 1 were clarified by the government delegation led by him.

“We are not blaming the Governor. We are only asking him not to delay his assent to the bill and give it soon. We have explained our position to the Governor and answered all his queries. We returned on Thursday from the meeting with the impression that he will soon give his assent. He told us to keep the Chief Minister informed about the discussion,” said Regupathy.

The minister’s comments came after the DMK and its coalition partners criticized the Governor for taking so long to sign the Bill.

The Governor’s October-approved Ordinance expired on November 27, giving the parties ample opportunity to criticize Ravi, who has come under fire for his contentious remarks on Sanathana Dharma.

Currently, the most recent point of contention between the Governor and the DMK government, which has been engaged in a protracted conflict with Ravi over a number of issues, is the non-assent of the bill that would have outlawed online gambling and regulated online gaming in Tamil Nadu.

Regupathy agreed with K Annamalai, the leader of the Tamil Nadu BJP, that the state government should have issued a Government Order addressing the Ordinance after the Governor approved it in the first week of October.

Regupathy responded by saying that the government received the Governor’s approval for the Ordinance on October 4, and after formulating the rules and regulations, a Government Order needed to be published.

“But on October 5, the announcement regarding the convening of the Assembly came and it was decided that we will pass a bill and send it to the Governor’s assent. However, we published the ordinance in the government gazette. That is the only reason. But Annamalai hid the reason while talking to the press,” Regupathy said.

No online games provider shall offer online gambling services, permit the playing of any online game of chance involving money or other stakes, or allow the playing of any other online game in violation of the rules, in any form, according to the bill, which was drafted in response to recommendations from a committee led by Justice (retired) K Chandru.