This is bad news for the online gaming enthusiasts in Tamil Nadu. The state’s Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday promulgated an ordinance, making wagering or betting, including playing rummy and poker, punishable with a fine of INR 5,000 and imprisonment of 6 months for people who are found gaming. Those who run gambling houses will be fined INR 10K and be imprisoned for 2 years.
The Governor said that due to online gaming, many innocent people, mainly youngsters, are being cheated, and some people have committed suicide. The state has thus decided to ban online gaming “to avoid such incidents of suicide and protect the innocent people from the evils of online gaming.”
Critics have also said that the online games are played by students, kids, boys and girls, and the lack of money to buy into these games puts different kinds of pressure leading to unpleasant situations.
Some officials have said that families are losing their hard-earned money due to addiction to online games. According to them, there are complaints from families seeking ban on online gambling.
Poker No Longer Legal In Tamil Nadu
The ban on the online games, which also include online poker, is bad news for poker players in Tamil Nadu as the recent ruling has made online poker illegal in the state. As per the new ordinance banning online gaming, playing online poker in Tamil Nadu would be a punishable offence.
The ordinance also includes gaming houses, and the penalties for owners and operators of gaming houses have been increased. The ordinance bans anyone from placing bets in the internet through the use of computers, networks, and other communication devices and gaming instruments.
However, the ordinance exempts games of skill from any punitive measures. This could serve as legal basis to convince the state government to reverse its decision regarding online poker, as the game is widely considered a game of skill. But the job won’t be easy. It would require a lot of time, efforts and resources to convince the government to rethink over its decision regarding poker.
Is Karnataka Next To Impose Ban On Online Games?
By banning online games and gambling, Tamil Nadu has joined its neighbors Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Following in the footsteps of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka is also considering to ban online games. The state’s home minister, Basavaraja Bommai, said the online gaming will be banned in the state very soon as people are losing their hard-earned money due to this addiction. He also talked about the various complaints received from parents and others seeking ban on the online games.