Madras High Court rules ban on online gaming

Lea Hogg 1 year ago
Madras High Court rules ban on online gaming

Indian Tamil Minister of Law Sevugan Regupathy said that the 2021 judgement by the Madras High Court to pass a new law to ban online gaming and regulating the sector is most likely to go ahead. Regupathy is a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and Minister for law, courts, prisons and prevention of corruption.

Tamil Nadu Gaming

The Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police laws (Amendment Act 2021) banned wager and betting in ‘cyberspace’ and any form of online gambling. The Minister said that the ban by the Tamil Nadu government was not on the “premise of competence of legislature”. If the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly adopted the bill to ban online games, the “Governor had to grant assent and there was no chance whatsoever for him to decline” he added.

The Bill

The return of the bill is expected to cause friction between the governor and the government. The Assembly passed the bill in October 2022. The government confirmed that “at least 44 persons had ended their lives after losing money” in the last two years. A number of lobby groups have attacked the government for the delay in passing the bill.

The bill specifically says that no operator will be allowed to provide online gambling services or any game of chance for money or other stakes. Furthermore, it says that no one will be permitted to play any “online games in contravention with the ban, in any form”.

There is also a clause on advertising and media promotion for gambling. The bill will prohibit adverts by any “electronic means of communication” that will promote any person to indulge in online gambling with money or other stakes, reads the bill. It also covers the financial sector in relation with online gambling and specifically bans any bank or financial institution or borrower to engage in any transactions of funds associated with online gaming.

The bill was based on a study undertaken by the School Education Department about the impact of online rummy on students.

Duty bound to adopt ban

Governor Ravi had returned the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill passed by the Assembly on October 19, 2022 saying that the State ‘lacked legislative competence.’ Chief Minister M K Stalin said that Governor Ravi is duty bound to give his assent when the Bill is adopted again in the Assembly.

 

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