Tamil Nadu governor returns bill to ban online gaming

The ordinance was promulgated last October but never received assent.
The ordinance was promulgated last October but never received assent.

Governor RN Ravi says the bill lacks legislative competence.

India.- After several months of delay, Tamil Nadu governor RN Ravi has returned the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gaming and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022. The ordinance was promulgated in October but Ravi had not given his assent. He has now claimed it lacks legislative competence.

The decision comes after Ravi raised questions last year based on the Madras High Court order that struck down the previous law banning online gambling. He said the new bill failed to reflect the observations made by the High Court and does not differentiate between games of chance and games of skills. The governor also said a total ban would go against Article 19 (1) (g) of the constitution.

The government has argued that the bill does distinguish between games of chance and skill and only bans online gambling, thus sticking to the doctrine of proportionality. The state insisted that the bill is in conformity with the constitution.

The Madras High Court ruled that skill-based games are not covered under the ‘Betting and Gambling’ entry in the state list under schedule 7 of the Constitution. However, the state argues that online gambling is. It argues that online gambling increases the chances of cheating because the person is playing against a computer code written by the game developer.

According to The New Indian Express, the bill will now be examined by the legislature and will be sent back to the governor if deemed fit. Ravi had been criticised for his delay in responding to the bill.

In this article: