Gaming federation meets Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi as ban hangs fire

This comes as the state awaits the Governor’s assent to the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022.

Published: 08th December 2022 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2022 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

Online gaming, Rummy, Gambling,

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi on Monday met representatives of the E-Gaming Federation (EGF) at the Raj Bhavan, where they highlighted to him that the Supreme Court and Madras High Court had identified poker and rummy as games of skill.

This comes as the state awaits the Governor’s assent to the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022. Law Minister S Reghupathy clarified the queries raised by the Governor. The Bill was passed on October 19 after the ordinance received the Governor’s assent on October 1. The ordinance lapsed on November 27, and Ravi is yet to assent to the Bill.

While Raj Bhavan officials did not release statements on the meeting, the EFG delegation confirmed making representations to Ravi regarding the Bill. “We placed the legal jurisprudence in this regard set by the Supreme Court and several high courts, whereby games like poker and rummy have been clearly identified as games of skill. In its detailed judgment, the Madras High Court reaffirmed the preponderance test for distinguishing between games of skill and games of chance, especially in the context of rummy. It reinforced that both rummy and poker are games of skill,” said Sameer Barde, chief executive officer of EGF. 

Barde further said the Bill passed by the state is unconstitutional as these games had been listed for prohibition as games of chance or gambling. “The points raised on Random Number Generators (RNGs) were also clarified as they are one of the most developed, internationally-accepted regulatory practices and technical standards adopted by the operators voluntarily in the country today,” he stated.

However, a state government official slammed such arguments. “Such principles based on arguments for technological innovations, in the face of evidence, have proved to be disastrous viz bitcoins,” he added.
Moreover, the state defended the move to ban online gambling. Chief Minister MK Stalin said that the decision had been taken after 95% of residents were in favour of banning online rummy and poker. He had highlighted that the World Health Organization (WHO) termed online gaming a disorder, and highlighted the state’s role in curbing and curing the disease.

India Matters


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