Tamil Nadu bans online games, gambling; joins AP, Telangana

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |

November 22, 2020 12:44:09 am

In the ordinance banning the game, TN governor said that due to online gaming, innocent people mainly youngsters are being cheated and some people have committed suicide. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Tamil Nadu on Friday became the third state to ban online games and gambling after the state’s governor promulgated an Ordinance to restrict such games from public to prevent them from the “evils of online gaming”.

“Due to online gaming, innocent people mainly youngsters are being cheated and some people have committed suicide,” the governor’s office said in a statement promulgating the Ordinance.

According to the new laws, any form of wager or online bets using computers or any other devices are banned across the state. People who will be found gaming online will be fined Rs 5,000 and be punished with a six month sentence, while those who open or keep open online gaming houses will be fined Rs 10,000 and be imprisoned for two years.

Electronic transfer of funds for placing bets, distributing the winnings of games or any other prize money related to online games will also be prohibited under the new ordinance.

Apart from Tamil Nadu, its neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana has already banned online gambling and some of the card games that can be played online. Tamil Nadu neighbour on the other side, Karnataka, is also mulling a new law to ban online games which involve gambling and betting, according to reports.

Explained: Why has Tamil Nadu banned online games?

Games that involve betting of any kind and rely on luck of the participants are mostly banned in India, with some states allowing some offline versions such as lottery tickets and scratch cards. While there has been some debate on whether online games are a matter of pure luck or skill, the arrival of money has further complicated matters.

Most adversaries of online games and gambling have said that since there are no regulations, most players end up spending a lot of money for buy-in in these games.

Critics have also said that since these games are also played by kids of all ages, the lack of money to buy these add-on puts different kinds of peer pressure, leading to unpleasant circumstances.

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