The Tamil Nadu government will shortly introduce an ordinance banning internet gambling. It was approved today by Chief Minister MK Stalin at a state cabinet meeting. According to a statement from the state administration, the ordinance would be introduced soon after receiving the governor’s consent.
A committee headed by retired judge K Chandru was formed by the government’s DMK to research and recommend a ban on the internet gaming. Additionally, emails and in-person consultations were used to get the public’s perspective. The report was polished before being presented to the Cabinet for approval.
In the state during the past several years, at least 17 people, including students, committed suicide after experiencing significant financial losses while playing online games.
Many have fallen into financial traps due to their addiction to these games. The adoption of appropriate legal remedies was essential as a result. Experts have also expressed skepticism against celebrities promoting such games, particularly well-known cricket players.
Legislation prohibiting these games was also drafted in February of last year by the previous AIADMK administration. But in August, the Madras High Court invalidated it in response to petitions from the gambling industry.
The Supreme Court has not yet heard the appeal from the Tamil Nadu government on this matter. Meanwhile, similar laws have been overturned by high courts in a small number of other states.
Online gambling is legal in India. Most states permit real money or stakes-based online gambling.
Online gaming in the country has seen a surge due to the rise in digital infrastructure and the availability of cheap and faster internet services. However, these gaming activities often have an element of gambling and monetary transactions baked into them, which is a cause for concern.