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Withhold assent to Gaming Ban ordinance: AIGF urges TN Governor

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The self regulatory gaming body AIGF has urged the Tamil Nadu governor to not approve the proposed ordinance to ban online skill games including rummy and poker.

AIGF said a complete prohibition or ban on online skill-based games has been held to be arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional by the Hon’ble Madras High Court in a judgment of a division bench of the court dated 3rd August, 2021 in Junglee Games India Private Limited v. State of Tamil Nadu & Others (WP No. 18022/2020).

To give a background, the Tamil Nadu cabinet on Monday discussed the report submitted by the Justice Chandru committee on banning online rummy. Reports indicate that the majority of the cabinet is in favour to ban online rummy in the state by an ordinance route.

The State government had, on June 10, said an ordinance would be promulgated based on the recommendations of the Justice Chandru Committee considering the need for finding an urgent solution to this social issue. Political parties across party lines are demanding a ban on online rummy. While news headlines limit it to only rummy, the ban similar to earlier law is expected to cover all games for stakes.

AIGF in the letter said the union government has constituted an inter-ministerial taskforce to look into the issue of online gaming and has started stakeholder consultation for the same under its power to regulation communication and internet, inter-state trade and commerce and other residuary powers under the central list of the seventh schedule of the constitution.

“Since the proposed ordinance to ban online gaming goes against the order of the Hon’ble Madras High Court and falls within the legislative domain of a matter that is already under active consideration of the Union Government, we would request Your Excellency to kindly withhold the assent to the Ordinance to Ban ‘Online Gaming/Rummy’ or reserve the matter for consideration of the President in exercise of powers granted to the Governor under Article 213(1)(b) of the Constitution,” AIGF urged the Governor in a letter seen by G2G.

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