Tamil Nadu Assembly re-adopts Bill to ban online gambling; to be sent for Governor's assent
AIADMK MLAs including Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami walked out after staging a protest over O Panneerselvam speaking on behalf of the AIADMK.
Published: 23rd March 2023 01:29 PM | Last Updated: 23rd March 2023 03:55 PM | A+A A-
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Assembly today re-adopted the Bill to ban online gambling and it will be re-sent to the Governor for his assent. This comes weeks after state Governor RN Ravi had returned it to the government for its reconsideration.
This is the second Bill to be re-adopted by the State Assembly after the Governor returned it. Earlier, the Bill to dispense with The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate medical courses in Tamil Nadu was re-adopted on February 8.
Chief Minister MK Stalin said he was moving the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill 2022 with a heavy heart as 41 persons died by suicide due to online gambling.
While ending his life over gambling, Sureshkumar from Chennai pleaded with the government to ban online rummy immediately and wished that no one should have to leave their family in the lurch like him. He also wished his death to be the last due to online gambling.
The Chief Minister gave a detailed account of how the legislation to ban online gambling was enacted after consultations with legal experts as well as all stakeholders. Union Minister Anurag Thakur had told the Parliament that the State governments are empowered to enact legislations to ban online gambling as per the Constitution. The Chief Minister requested the MLAs to support the Bill unanimously.
Several members spoke on the bill expressing their support and opposing Governor Ravi for returning it.
All political parties in the Assembly supported the Bill.
BJP floor leader Nainar Nagenthran said the government should form another expert committee to enact new legislation without contradicting the legislation of the Central government and if that is done, the BJP would support it.
Former Minister N Thalavai Sundaram (AIADMK) welcomed the Bill wholeheartedly.
However, deposed leader O Panneerselvam said the Bill should have been adopted unanimously without discussion. “I welcome the Bill on behalf of the AIADMK,” he added. This sparked a huge protest from the AIADMK MLAs including Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami.
EPS said the Speaker used to allow only one member from every party to speak on issues. But by allowing OPS, the Speaker was trying to create confusion. To this, the Speaker said he allowed OPS since he was a former Chief Minister and that he did not want to enter into the internal issues of their party.
There were heated exchanges between OPS supporters - PH Manoj Pandian and R Vaithilingam - and the rest of the AIADMK MLAs. At one point, EPS led his colleagues in a walkout.
An ordinance (prohibiting online gambling, wager-based online games of chance of Rummy and Poker) was promulgated by Governor RN Ravi on October 1, 2022, and a gazette notification was made by the government on October 3. The Tamil Nadu Assembly met on October 17 last year for a brief session and the Bill was passed.
The adoption of the Bill was necessitated after the Madras High Court had struck down in August 2021, the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act 2021 which banned wagers or placing bets in cyberspace.
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