The state of Tamil Nadu has now prohibited online gambling and other online games will be regulated. On October 1, Governor RN Ravi signed an ordinance that will take effect in the coming days. The ordinance bans online gambling and other activities such as rummy and poker. The gaming industry has criticized the ordinance, claiming that it combines skill games with gambling.
The Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF) has announced that it will take the Tamil Nadu government to court over the ordinance. The Online Gaming Authority will issue registration certificates to local online gaming providers, identify online gambling and recommend them to the government for prohibition, and monitor the operation of online gaming providers. In recent years, several people in the state have taken extreme measures after taking on debt due to bad luck on the internet, leading political parties to unanimously demand a ban on gambling. The notification stated that online gaming and gambling are highly addictive, leading to suicides, affecting mental health and ruining families.
The GST Council has not yet ratified 28% of the GST, but it had tried to impose it on online gaming, making tax regimes more complicated for these new start-ups. The government received 10,735 responses, of which 10,708 were in favor of a total ban on online games. The EGF also argued that the state government should create an enabling gaming policy that protects players instead of resorting to a general ban. The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a bill to ban online gambling and regulate online gaming in the state.
According to media reports, many users committed suicide due to financial losses incurred on online gaming platforms. The ordinance proposed establishing the Tamil Nadu Online Gaming Authority to regulate the burgeoning space and address complaints from all interested parties. Subsequently, the High Court lifted the ban on online gaming, while the state government quickly filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. If someone advertises prohibited games in any media outlet, they will be punished with a year's imprisonment or a fine of 1.15 lakh or both.
This replaced an ordinance that the state government had enacted last week to ban online gambling.
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