The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday (23 March) once again passed the bill banning online rummy which was returned by Governor RN Ravi earlier this month.
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 earlier 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.
The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has been saying that many people in the state have committed suicide as they lost enormous amounts of money in games like online rummy. It also says that by not giving assent to the Bill, Governor Ravi is responsible for their deaths.
The Centre has moved towards regulating the online gaming sector. In January, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had brought in draft amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Liability and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
These amendments prescribe some norms like registration of platforms, verification of users, user education, self-regulatory bodies for these platforms, repeated warnings against financial implications and addiction etc.
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