According to Stalin, the previous government had enacted a law to ban online gaming in the state. The ordinance was promulgated on the background of suicides by gamers who allegedly lost important amounts of money to gambling.
Three people had supposedly committed suicide in Coimbatore in November due to heavy financial losses in an online game of rummy.
The proposal submitted by the government said: “Due to online gaming, innocent people, mainly youngsters, are being cheated and some people have committed suicide. In order to avoid such incidents of suicide and protect the innocent people from the evils of online gaming.”
The ordinance also suggested punishments for those found “gaming”. The punishments include INR 5,000 ($67) fines and imprisonments of up to six months, as well as two years of jail time and INR 10,000 fines for people who operate common gaming houses.
The ordinance seeks the ban of “electronic transfer of funds” used for wagering or betting, distribution of winnings or prize money and punishing those running companies that operate online wagering and betting.
According to the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all forms of gambling are illegal in India. However, certain provisions within the law mark a difference between games of skill and games of chance, which places a certain ambiguity around the legislation since the difference between those types of games is not entirely clear.
For example, while rummy and poker might be considered games of skill, when using stakes, they turn into gambling.