MPL Rummy publishes full page ads in TN, former CM EPS lambasts govt in delay in re-banning online gaming

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Unicorn gaming and esports startup MPL today published a full-page rummy advertisement in Tamil Nadu prompting former CM Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) to lambast the DMK government for delaying in enacting a ban law. The AIADMK government led by EPS enacted a gaming ban law before the assembly elections in 2021.

The AIADMK government lost the elections and the DMK party led by Stalin came to power.  Subsequently, the law was quashed by the Madras High Court in August 2021 as ultra vires the constitution.

EPS today, questioned the government asking how many more lives would be required to enact a new gaming ban law. The Tamil Nadu government appealed against the judgement before the Supreme Court.

Last week, AIADMK coordinator and former CM O. Panneer Selvam (OPS) demanded the DMK government ban online rummy and other games. Referring to Chief Minister Stalin’s statements, OPS said so far no action is taken by the DMK government.

Ever since the decision of the High Court in August 2021, the opposition has been demanding the government 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 debate a few days after the law was struck down.

The previous AIADMK government had promulgated an ordinance to ban online gambling “in a hurry” leading to the Madras High Court striking it down, Regupathy claimed. Earlier there were also reports that the government may enact a new law in 2021 but so far there has been no development from the government.

Tamil Nadu state industries minister Thangam Thennarasu last week said that the DMK government is determined to enact strong legislation for banning online rummy in the State.

Earlier this month, the Tamil Nadu government announced that it will form a special investigation team to inquire into the death by suicide of persons who were caught in a debt trap by online gambling. A Superintendent of Police from the Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department (CB-CID) would lead the SIT.

Tamil Nadu DGP C. Sylendra Babu recently warned the public that playing online rummy could lead to debt and suicide. The top cop said the number of people losing money and jewellery due to online gaming has increased in the last few months.

PMK Chief Anbumani Ramadoss recently met Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi to press for a ban on online rummy. Governor Ravi expressed surprise over the online rummy issue and said he was not aware of the issue but will look into the matter for initiating appropriate action.