Tamil Nadu govt promulgates Ordinance prohibiting online gambling, games

Online games and gambling ruined families, led to suicides, caused gaming addiction affecting public health, says the gazette notification

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government promulgated an ordinance to prohibit online gambling and regulate online games in the State and said an online gaming authority will be established to exercise powers conferred by this Ordinance.

A gazette notification issued by the government on October 3 and the Ordinance promulgated by Governor R N Ravi on October 1, said the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of online gambling and regulation of online games Ordinance, 2022, will come into force on the date notified by the government.

Online games and gambling ruined families, led to suicides, caused gaming addiction affecting public health, disturbing social order and prejudices the maintenance of public order. Hence the need for the present Ordinance, it said.

“The state government may by notification establish with effect from such date as may be specified in the notification, an authority to be called Tamil Nadu Online Gaming Authority to exercise powers conferred on and perform the functions assigned to it under this Ordinance,” the notification said.

The Authority will regulate online games, issue certificate of registration to local online games providers besides identify online games of chance - Rummy and Poker - and oversee the functioning of online games providers in the State, among the other things.

As per the general prohibitions, no bank, financial institution or payment gateway provider shall engage in any transaction or authorisation of funds towards payment for any online gambling or any online game of chance.

Geo-blocking - restricting users from accessing online content, online applications or online services, based on the user's geographical location, will be resorted.

Stakes mean anything recognised as equivalent to money and includes virtual credits, virtual coins, virtual tokens, virtual objects or any similar thing that is purchased within or as part of or in relation to an online game.

Online gambling means online wagering or betting and includes playing any online game of chance for money or other stakes in any manner, it said.

Violators will be imprisoned for a term extending to 3 months or with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000 or both.

Person who advertises in any media in contravention shall be punished with imprisonment for upto one year or with fine of Rs 5 lakh or both.

Any person providing online gambling services or any online game of chance specified in the schedule with money or other stakes or any person who contravenes the provisions shall be punished with imprisonment for 3 years or with fine of Rs 10 lakhs or both, the notification stated.

The Cabinet under Chief Minister M K Stalin gave its nod to the ordinance on September 26.

The Chief Minister had piloted the bill in the Assembly after a report was submitted by former Judge of the Madras High Court K Chandru of the evils of online gambling and gaming.

( Source : PTI )
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