After a string of complaints and suicides about people losing their well-earned money in playing online games involving betting and wagering, the State Government of Tamil Nadu on Friday promulgated an ordinance banning such games.
The ordinance promulgated by Governor Banwarilal Purohit bans betting and playing online games in cyber space using computers, mobile phones or any other communication device. The Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930, Chennai City Police Act, 1888, and the Tamil Nadu District Police Act, 1859, were amended in order to get the said ordinance in action.
The ordinance also stated the punishment. Anyone who is found playing such games will be punished with a fine of Rs 5,000 and Six Months imprisonment,. People who run or open a common gaming house will be punished with a fine amount of Rs 10,000 and two-year imprisonment.
A statement from Governor’s office said, “Innocent people, of them, mainly youngsters, are being cheated due to which some people have even committed suicide. In order to avoid such incidents in future and to protect people from the evils of online gaming, or betting, the Government had submitted a proposal to the Governor to promulgate an ordinance.
The Ordinance also bans “electronic transfer of funds” used for betting and distributing prize money is also banned stated the ordinance. The same shall have provisions to punish people who are running such gaming companies or gaming parlors.
Earlier this month, DMK Chief M K Stalin condemned the Tamil Nadu Government for seeking more time to take a call on banning online card games when a petition on the issue came up for hearing before the Madras high court.
Within a couple of days, on November 6, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that the State will ban the online playing of rummy and would also bring in legal charges against the organizers and players, to arrest the same.
A week before CM’s above announcement, two Men aged 28 and 32 killed themselves in Coimbatore because they incurred a huge debt due to losses in online betting games. Also, a dozen had killed themselves across the entire State till then.
In Chennai, a 28-year-old man who lost a few lakhs playing online game committed suicide at his rented accommodation at Sembium on October 27. He was working as a collection agent for a private bank for the last three years. Inquiries revealed that he stayed awake till 3am to play rummy online and lost his money in online games.