Will put fullstop to online gaming in TN: Stalin

Chennai, Jan 6 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin today informed the State Assembly the government will definitely put a full stop to the online gaming in the State.

Replying to a query raised by Opposition AIADMK member V Vaiithilingam during the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address, he said a Law was enacted by the previous AIADMK regime banning online gaming in the state last year.

However, the Madras High Court had on August three, 2021, struck down as Unconstitutional, the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act of 2021 that banned online games such as rummy and poker with stakes.

Mr Stalin after eliciting the views of the legal experts has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the High Court order and the case was pending before the court. “Soon a full stop will be put to online gaming in the State”, Mr Stalin, amid thumping of desks by the members of the treasury benches.

It may be recalled that the First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy had on August three last year struck down the Law banning online gaming on a batch of pleas filed by private companies offering online games.

The Court had held that the law enacted by the State government as ultra vires of the Constitution, and that the legislation was excessive and disproportionate to the object. The petitioners challenged the validity of the Act contended that they were running legitimate business across the country.

In February 2021, the State government introduced an amendment Bill in the Assembly seeking to replace an Ordinance banning cyberspace gambling. Playing online games like poker and rummy involving betting will attract imprisonment of two years or fine not exceeding Rs 10,000 or both in Tamil Nadu.

According to the Bill, playing online games that are addictive had developed manifold in recent times. Innocent people got cheated and incidents of suicide were reported. To prevent such incidents and protect innocent people from the evils of online gaming, it was decided to ban wagering or betting in cyberspace.

In November 2020, then Governor Banwarilal Purohit had promulgated the Ordinance to ban online gaming, wagering or betting in cyberspace.

UNI GV 1305

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