The Tamil Nadu government today, said it is committed to banning online gambling and that all efforts are on to invoke the existing laws to serve the purpose. The earlier AIADMK government had enacted a gaming ban law that prohibited all gaming for stakes. The law was struck down in August last year by a division bench of the Madras High Court as unconstitutional.
Ever since the decision of the High Court the opposition has been demanding the government to enact a fresh law. Chief Minister MK Stalin was fully aware of the evils of online gambling that destroyed several families, state Law Minister S Regupathy said in the assembly. The previous AIADMK government had promulgated an ordinance to ban online gambling “in a hurry” leading to the Madras High Court striking it down, he claimed. Earlier there were also reports that the government may enact a new law.
The fresh response from S. Regupathy was necessitated when the former Chief Minister Palaniswami moved a call to attention motion asking the state government to take stern measures to ban online rummy as several families were getting ruined because their youth gambled and lost lakhs of rupees in the online game. “Some ended up borrowing hefty loans while others committed suicide due to staggering losses,” Palaniswami alleged. The former Chief Minister recalled that his government had promulgated an ordinance in 2020 to ban online gambling but it was quashed by the Madras HC on August 3 last year.
“We have gone to the Supreme Court to uphold the law enacted by the AIADMK government. Let’s hope that the apex court would deliver a good verdict on Tamil Nadu government’s appeal against the Madras High Court order quashing the ban on online gambling,” Regupathy told the Assembly. The minister declined to discuss further on the subject as the matter was subjudice.
While striking it down, then Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy of the Madras High Court observed that allowing the legislation can be seen as erratic, unreasonable and also excessive and disproportionate. Recently, the Karnataka High Court has struck down a similar enactment as unconstitutional.