The Tamil Nadu Legislature again approves a measure outlawing internet gambling
After being sent back to the government for reconsideration by state governor R N Ravi, the bill to outlaw online gambling was once more unanimously approved by the Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday.
Chief Minister M K Stalin, who was in charge of the bill, referred to the loss of lives and said he was moving it with a "heavy heart."
In a letter explaining why the bill was being returned, Governor Ravi was quoted by Speaker M. Appavu. According to the letter to the Speaker, the Assembly violated "several judicial pronouncements" and lacked "legislative competence." Stalin claimed that 41 people committed suicide after making excessive losses at online casinos. He mentioned Sureshkumar, a young man who committed suicide after losing up to Rs. 17 lakh playing online rummy.
He had pleaded for the prohibition of online Rummy in his suicide note. Stalin also made reference to another individual, who also committed himself after writing a similar message.
"These demises are taking place right before our eyes. This administration, which is in control of the legislation, is obligated and responsible to halt this "declared the chief minister.
In order to help in the design of a new legislation to outlaw online gambling, the government created a committee under the direction of retired Madras High Court judge Justice K Chandru. The group then delivered its report.
An ordinance was enacted on October 1, 2022, by Governor Ravi after a number of additional actions, including a public hearing and a study by the Department of School Education that all overwhelmingly supported outlawing internet gambling.
A measure was passed by the Assembly on October 19, 2022 to replace the ordinance, and it was delivered to the governor for approval on October 26 of the same year.
On November 23, 2022, "instead of granting his agreement immediately, he asked some explanations," Stalin claimed.
He received an explanation within 24 hours, and when he contacted to ask for clarification, Law Minister S. Regupathy did so. Nonetheless, he said, the bill was returned to Speaker Appavu after 131 days with some comments.
He pleaded with the House to pass the law unanimously, saying, "This bill was crafted not just with knowledge but also with a heart."
He argued that the State administration and legislature did have the right and the necessary competence in response to the Governor's claim that they had the authority to adopt a statute outlawing internet gambling.
The CM cited Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur's response to DMK MP S R Parthiban's question in Parliament on whether state governments had the authority to adopt legislation to prohibit internet gambling because betting and gaming are included under State List Article 34 of the Constitution.
Speaking on the bill, MLAs expressed their support and opposition to Governor Ravi's decision to send it back. The Bill was supported by the main opposition party AIADMK as well.
According to the legislation, the Governor must consent to the measure when it is passed by the House a second time and delivered to the Governor once again; Ravi was aware of this fact, according to PMK's GK Mani.
Online gambling should be banned, according to Nainar Nagendran of the BJP. He did, however, recommend the formation of an expert team to reexamine the situation. In connection with issues pertaining to the internet gambling law, he took issue with comments made by several MLAs concerning the Governor.
After some debate, the Tamil Nadu Ban of Internet Gambling and Regulation of Online Gaming Bill was approved by voice vote, according to the speaker.
Meanwhile, there was a commotion in the House when Leader of the Opposition K Palaniswami objected to the Speaker permitting ousted leader O Panneerselvam to speak on the matter, exposing the division over leadership in the opposition AIADMK. On behalf of the AIADMK, Panneerselvam said that he supported the measure.
Palaniswami clashed with the Speaker while being supported by AIADMK MLAs, questioning how Panneerselvam was permitted to speak on the bill when the Speaker had previously said that only one member from each party would be permitted to do so. Palaniswami and Panneerselvam's respective MLAs got into a heated argument.
The opposition lawmakers were informed by Appavu that he did not refer to Panneerselvam as an AIADMK member but did allow him to speak due to his status as a former chief minister.
Recently, the Raj Bhavan sent the bill back to the House for "further review."
On October 1, 2022, Ravi issued an ordinance (prohibiting internet gambling, wager-based online games of chance as Rummy and Poker), and on October 3, the government published a gazette notice. A measure to replace the ordinance was eventually approved by the Tamil Nadu Legislature.
The Madras High Court's August 2021 decision to invalidate the sections of the Tamil Nadu Gambling and Police Laws (Amendment) Act 2021, which prohibited wagering or making bets online, made the passage of the law necessary.