‘Online gambling addictive, affects social order’: TN govt to Madras HC

Countering arguments of online gaming companies, senior counsel Kapil Sibal underscored that physical space is different from virtual space where the canvass is far wider.

Published: 08th August 2023 07:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th August 2023 07:38 AM   |  A+A-

Online gambling has the privilege of giving you anonymity, speed of play and permanent availability, but this may lead to an increase in gambling practice.

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  Tamil Nadu government on Monday submitted before the Madras High Court that banning online gambling is a policy decision as it adversely impacts public health and social order because of the addictive nature of the game.

Making the submissions before the first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice PD Audikesavalu, senior counsel Kapil Sibal said, “As a matter of policy, this state has decided that this (online gambling) impacts public health and public order-not in the sense of law and order-but in the sense it disturbs the peace within the home.”

He advanced arguments on behalf of the government on a batch of petitions filed by online gaming companies challenging the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022;

Sibal said Justice Chandru Committee reached out to 2 lakh teachers of schools and interacted with students.  “It had a negative impact on students playing the games in terms of eye defects, a decrease in Intelligent Quotient, writing skills and creativity and a significant decrease in self-esteem with reference to more than 76% of the students. It also invokes anger and indiscipline,” he said.

Pointing out that addictive nature of online gaming is ‘exploitative’ and also impacts health and could result in ‘economic harm of epic proportions’, he said, “Therefore betting and gambling online has public health implications and disturb social order.”

This is evidenced by the fact that 34 deaths by suicide have been reported due to gambling, he added.
Countering arguments of online gaming companies, Sibal underscored that physical space is different from virtual space where the canvass is far wider and the scope for manoeuvring is more.  The companies are hosting games for money making and earn a profit of about Rs 2,000 crore. 

The court adjourned the matter to August 14.

Anti-land grab cells shut: TN

Chennai: Advocate General (AG) R Shunmugasundaram on Monday informed the Madras High Court’s first bench of Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice PD Audikesavalu that the anti-land grab cells constituted in the police department have been disbanded following the orders of the Supreme Court.

He made the submission when a public interest litigation petition filed by Madurai-based lawyer Stalin seeking the winding up of such cells came up for hearing. Subsequently, the bench closed the petition. The anti-land grab cells and a special court for land grab cases were constituted in 2011 by the state government.

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