Home / News / India /  Tamil Nadu Cabinet approves ordinance to ban online gambling in state. Read here

The Tamil Nadu Cabinet on Monday approved an ordinance to ban online gaming int he state. On getting the Tamil Nadu governor's approval the ordinance would be promulgated in the state. 

The development comes after the Supreme Court of India had issued notice on 10 September on a petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government challenging the Madras High Court’s judgment that had struck down the state’s ban on online gambling such as rummy and poker on cyberspace with stakes.

States like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka, have sought to prohibit games of skills. However, High Courts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have struck down such amendments to legislations banning online skill gaming as unconstitutional.

Earlier, the Tamil Nadu government had moved the Supreme Court against the Madras High Court’s order that struck down the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act of 2021 that banned playing of games such as rummy and poker on cyberspace with stakes. However, the HC had said that there was nothing to prevent the State from enacting a new law to regulate these games.

“The High Court lost sight of the fact that the impugned amendment Act, in pith and substance, qualifies as a legislation on the subject of ‘betting’, which is a distinct area open for State legislation under the Constitution," The Tamil Nadu government had informed the Supreme Court of India. 

The Tamil Nadu government further contended that teenagers and adults were losing their entire earnings and savings in these online betting games.  The Tamil Nadu government said that though rummy might be a game of skill, the game using stakes will become gambling.

The Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Aniruddha Bose had sought response from gaming firms such as Junglee Games, Play Games24x7, and the Head Digital Works and industry body All India Gaming Federation on the Tamil Nadu government’s appeal seeking restoration of the ban.

The Tamil Nadu government said that as for compliance with Article 14, the 2021 Amendment Act is reasonable as it “makes a clear-cut classification between online games played for financial or other valuable stakes and other games" and the classification has a “rational nexus with the stated object of the impugned Act in countering ruinous addiction to gambling activities, which has led to numerous suicides and other economic and social harms. Neither can the impugned Act be described as manifestly arbitrary, since its enactment was guided and supported by a body of data and administrative experience describing the ill-effects of gambling addiction in society," the state government said.


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