The Tamil Nadu Governor has promulgated an ordinance banning “online gaming involving betting,” in accordance to a proposal submitted by the state government.
The decision was taken amid reports of various youth gamers committing suicide after losing money through online gaming. The ordinance has banned people who wager or bet in the cyber space using any electronic device, and has banned the electronic transfer of funds to distribute the winnings or prize money.
Moreover, the ordinance has a provision to imprison gamers for up to six months, along with a fine of ₹ 5,000. Moreover, opening or being an owner of a “gaming house” may lead to a fine of ₹ 10,000, along with 2 years of imprisonment.
Finally, due to the wording of the second clause which talks about “people who are found gaming”, various people were left confused as to whether the ordinance will be dealing with all kinds of online gaming, or only that which also involves the betting of money.
Tamil Nadu Government bans “online gaming involving betting”, leaves people confused
While quite a few people have been left surprised by the ordinance, the decision was actually a long time coming. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had said earlier this month that the government will be moving soon to ban online gambling, and had claimed that the final decision rests with the Governor.
The CM had said in an interview that “online gambling was destroying the lives of youth and driving them towards suicide.” Of course, now the Governor has accepted the proposal and promulgated the ordinance.
Finally, despite the confusion regarding whether the second clause that you see above deals with all types of “online gaming”, it appears as though it does not. Various sources have reported that only online gaming that involves betting will be affected by the ordinance.
The Tamil Nadu government had recently announced plans to ban online games that involve money, such as Poker and Rummy. While no official clarity on the matter has yet been provided, it appears for now that only the games that involve betting have been banned by the government.
Published 20 Nov 2020, 22:24 IST