The Tamil Nadu Government, released an official act to ban all online gambling games on October 3, Monday. Every game of chance operating within the regulations of the state will be abolished. The ban particularly mentions online poker and rummy games. The Tamil Nadu Government revealed this in an official gazette.
On 26th September, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and former Madras High Court Judge, K.Chandru and other cabinet members held a meeting. Several issues were raised, leading to the final decision of striking down the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Law Amendment Act. Madras High Court decided to abolish the Act in August 2021.
Tamil Nadu has put a temporary ban on the Game of Skill. Games adhering to Game of Skills and Article 19 (1)(g) are also restricted occupancy. A major reason for such strict action is addiction and lack of public welfare. Problems were raised about people constantly losing their money on such online gambling games.
According to the gazette, Tamil Nadu Government won’t be dependent on a self-regulatory body for a statute. They are planning to create their own body, Online Gaming Authority, to abolish any online gambling games and strictly monitor games of skills. Four members will regulate the fantasy sports industry. Each will have different objectives to ensure a safe environment and regulated outcome.
Former Madras High Court Judge, K. Chandru will be one of the four members. Former Police officers not below the rank of Inspector, with expertise in information technology, will be a member. A known Psychologist understanding public behavior and their betterment will also join the body. A retired officer at the rank of Chief Secretary will be the final member of the Online Gaming Authority.
One of the reasons for strict action was the adverse effects on students. There were overwhelming complaints raised by teachers about the outcomes noticed in students. Out of two lakh teachers, 74% presented their concerns about the defects in student behavior. The Department of School Education stated that teachers observed a “decrease in the intelligent quotient, writing skills, and creativity” among the students.
The Tamil Nadu government conducted a survey and noticed the views of the general people. There were over 10,735 responses on the issue of online gambling games and 10,708 of the respondents favored the ban on such games. The government has set some rules for the existing operators, within and outside the state to adhere to the new restrictions instantly.
Those who indulge in online gambling will receive a fine of Rs 5000 or/and imprisonment for up to three months. Advertisers of such games will be penalized five lakh or/and one-year imprisonment. The online gaming operator will receive a penalty of 10 lakh or/and three years of jail time. Non-local operators will be given time to shift their operations out of Tamil Nadu. If they fail to comply, the Stated Government will recommend the Central Government block their access.