While waiting to take action on Indian betting sites for a long time, the Tamil Nadu assembly has finally done its part by taking action against online gambling. By passing a law, they will regulate and ban online gambling games in Tamil Nadu. A panel made an observation that online games cannot be compared to their offline counterparts. This panel was headed by a retired judge of the high court, K. Chandru.
The bill passed was moved by the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr M. K. Stalin. The assembly passed the bill, which states regulations and a ban on online gambling games within the state. This bill would replace an ordinance that governor R. N. Ravi issued recently. It banned online gambling and regulated online gaming.
The bill has stated in the statement of objects and reasons to be addictive nature. Online gambling games have been termed as highly addictive in nature. It increases the threat of interfering with public order in many ways. Earlier, there were no appropriate measures and regulations against these.
As mentioned earlier, the panel was formed, headed by a retired high court judge, K. Chandru. The committee proposed the observations that a version of an online game cannot be compared to its offline version. There were some exceptions marked, like word games and board games that do not include random outcome generators. There were many other irregularities pointed out in its in-depth report.
In contrast to offline casinos, online gambling sites are active for 24 hours. It is not possible to provide real-time opponents at all hours. Online gambling sites have cheekily dealt with this by incorporating non-human/virtual opponents that are controlled by artificial intelligence. These are controlled by computer algorithms, making it increasingly difficult to win against them. This has increased the loss of money by people and them going bankrupt.
Gambling bypasses the state’s surveillance by using virtual currencies and tokens. This also affects the state’s economies, which needs to be looked into.
The ban may be challenged
Following the ban on online gaming, the E-Gaming Federation (EGF) spoke against it. The federation is looking into ways of challenging the Tamil Nadu Government for categorizing rummy and poker as games of chance. Clearly, the federation doesn’t see it that way and is ready to take legal action against the bill.
Sameer Barde, the CEO, spoke about the ordinance in an interview. He claimed that the federation had decided to file a lawsuit against the government. This is due to the fact that rummy and poker were considered games of chance. This does not go hand in hand with the judgements that the Madras High court had recently given. According to the Madras High court, rummy and poker are considered to be games of skill and chance.
In recent judgements passed by several high courts and the supreme court of India, skill-based games were segregated as a legitimate business. Tamil Nadu Government has gone against those judgements and labelled some online games as games of chance and gambling. The government wants to stop all activities of these games in the state of Tamil Nadu. This has led to clashes between the government with the EGF. The federation wants the government to make laws that safeguard online gaming communities rather than banning the games.
The federation wants the government to make rules supporting the skill-based online gaming industry and create policies to protect players and ensure their safety from scams and illegal websites.
From the government’s point of view, this decision comes after a number of suicides in the state. All of these suicides were connected to online gambling. While some could not bear the loss of money, they went through it, and some drowned in debt, trying to gamble everything. The addictive nature of these games puts you in a loop, and then it’s impossible to get out of it while you lose everything. This is what happened to the people who killed themselves. Overall there were 20 deaths connected to online gambling in one way or the other. This prompted the government to take such action. The sources in the government stated that the government would create regulations and mechanisms to control the activities of these websites and apps rather than banning them completely.
With the emergence of Indian gambling sites, this was a decision that had been coming for a long time. With many states banning offline casinos, online ones were growing rapidly to replace them. This has led to more suicides across the country since these sites often use shady tactics to prevent players from winning. This has led governments in many states to look into the matter. Official app stores on our phones do not allow any online gambling games to feature on them. So, the games have come up with websites from where the apps can be downloaded. The bypassing of regulations starts from the beginning and tricks newcomers into believing they can win. This leads to people spending more of their time and money on these websites and losing their capital.
These Indian betting sites have permits from other countries with relaxed gambling laws. They use their foreign permits to operate in India. These cheeky industry practices have made them legal under the laws. Still, all their activities remain illegal in many parts of the country as there is a ban on gambling in most of it. Although the organizations label the games skill-based, they are nothing but gambling. Earlier offline casinos were the place to gamble. With technological improvements, online gambling sites have emerged as major market players.
After failing to cement their place in major developed nations, these sites have entered developing nations like India. With their massive population and poor majorities, developing nations serve as major gambling sites and online game markets. People have the mentality to fall for games promising money. These traps lure them to invest their hard-earned money in online games and casinos, where they ultimately lose the money.
The majority of people do not understand the mechanism of how these sites operate and trick us. Therefore, a major part of the population remains vulnerable to falling victim to the rising number of similar sites. It is finally the time when the governments have started taking action against them. The Tamil Nadu Government may face backlash for its decision, but this act will pave the way for future lawsuits and bans. Ultimately, the goal is to keep people safe from falling into gambling traps and keep the money flow within the country.