Governor RN Ravi has given assent to the Bill banning online rummy on the day the Assembly passed a resolution brought by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government urging the President and the central government to prescribe a time limit to Governors to give assent to bills passed by the state legislature.
The Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill 2022, which was returned by Governor Ravi for reconsideration of the Assembly, was passed again on 23 March.
The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had been highlighting that many people in the state have committed suicide as they lost enormous amounts of money in games like online rummy. It also said that by not giving assent to the Bill, Governor Ravi was responsible for their deaths.
It is believed that Governor Ravi had returned the bill because he felt that the state assembly did not have the power to legislate on the subject and also because rummy has been declared as a ‘game of skill’ and not a ‘game of chance’ by the Supreme Court.
According to legal experts, while ‘betting’ and ‘gambling’ are subjects in the State List and states have the legislative authority to make laws on these subjects, online rummy cannot be banned by considering it as ‘gambling’ as it has been declared as a game of skill.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai had said at a press meet that the issue falls under the domain of 'cyberspace', which has usually been legislated upon by the Union and so it would be better if the Parliament passes a uniform law for the whole country.
Representatives of the online gaming industry have said that they would examine the implications of the law and challenge it in court.
S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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