Tamil Nadu bans online gaming involving betting

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has promulgated an ordinance to ‘ban online gaming’ involving betting. Similar games that promote online gambling, and also levies fines, jail term for violators has also been banned. This move has been on expected lines, given that the state government had informed the Madras High Court that efforts were on to ban these games. The ordinance passed by the Government on Friday was on the backdrop of suicides by gamers who allegedly lost money. The ordinance would ban the persons who are wagering or betting in cyberspace using computers or any communication device or resource and the people who are found gaming will be punished with a fine of Rs 5000 and six months imprisonment. Those who open/keep common gaming house will be fined Rs.10,000 and two years imprisonment and ‘electronic transfer of funds’ used for wagering or betting, distribution of the winnings, the prize money has also been banned. This ordinance also punishes the persons who are running the companies that conduct online gaming by wagering and betting. The ordinance has been promulgated by amending the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930, Chennai City Police Act, 1888 and the Tamil Nadu District Police Act, 1859. In the first week of November, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had assured that his government was working on taking measures to ban online rummy and other gambling games that were getting youth addicted, spoiling their life and sometimes even claiming their lives. He said this while addressing the media in Coimbatore, during a visit to review the measures against Covid-19 and also to oversee the implementation of Government schemes. The Madras High Court Madurai Bench is also hearing a case against online gaming. Three people had allegedly died of suicide in Coimbatore this month due to heavy financial loss in the online rummy game.