Gaming News

Tamil Nadu to soon regulate online games involving betting, money transfer

The Tamil Nadu cabinet Monday approved the government’s ordinance to regulate online games that involve stakes. Led by Chief Minister MK Stalin, the cabinet gave a nod to sort of ban games that promote betting, dealing a huge blow to the emerging sector in India. The ordinance will take effect as soon as the governor approves it, meaning it will become a law that will regulate online games in the state of Tamil Nadu. Also Read – Google sued by WinZo for its new Play Store policy allowing only fantasy sports, rummy games

The government’s push for a curb on online gaming comes more than a year after the Madras High Court overturned the ban on online games involving money transfers imposed by the previous AIADMK-led government. The state high court said the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act 2021 was unconstitutional. The current government challenged the decision in the Supreme Court, the hearing for which is underway. Also Read – Hiking GST on online gaming from 18% to 28% will negatively impact industry, say experts

The Supreme Court issued notice to all of the respondents to the petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government, giving them a time of four weeks to file their responses. Essentially, the apex court is asking the skill-based gaming companies, such as Junglee Games, Play Games24x7, Head Digital Works, and even All India Gaming Federation that represents the best interest of this industry. The Supreme Court has since then added a petition by the Karnataka government on the same lines. Also Read – Govt to finalise GST on online gaming in August 2022, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

The push against games that involve stakes began when Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin constituted a four-member committee in May last year to analyse the negative effects of such games. With the retired Justice K Chandru at the helm, the committee was designated to provide recommendations for a new law that would prohibit “online gambling games” on June 10 earlier this year. Later, on June 27, the committee issued a report outlining its recommendations that such games, as well as advertisements encouraging them, should be banned in the state.

Skill-based games drive a significant portion of the revenue generated by India’s gaming industry, but considering the sector is not legally regulated, many states, such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, and Karnataka have banned or tried to ban them.

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