Express press service
CHENNAI: The state government may not opt for a total ban on online gambling, but it may be one of the few to come up with regulations to regulate the industry. Reliable sources have revealed that there are different types of online gambling and some should be banned while others are regulated. It is learned that the recommendations of the committee headed by retired High Court Justice K Chandru will soon be translated into legislation.
While the Center is in talks with the online gambling industry on developing its own model rules, the committee, which has looked into the harmful effects of online gambling with stakes, has submitted its report examining online gambling issues.
When TNIE contacted Judge Chandru, he said the report had been submitted to the state government and refused to release anything. It comes after the Madras High Court struck down Part II of the Tamil Nadu Gambling and Police (Amendment) Act 2021, which amended the Tamil Nadu Gambling Act 1930 to prohibit gambling games such as rummy and cyberspace poker with stakes. , declaring it unconstitutional.
The HC bench, however, granted the freedom to the state to pass other legislation, without any loopholes. He added that nothing in this ruling would prevent the state government from introducing appropriate legislation consistent with constitutional principles of propriety.
The decision to ban online gambling came after 17 suicides were reported across Tamil Nadu in the past three years due to online gambling with stakes. The online gambling industry in India is worth $2.2 billion and is expected to reach $7 billion by 2026. The number of gamers in India is close to 400 million and is expected to reach 700 million by 2025.
Meanwhile, the online gambling industry has claimed that states have failed to consider the real threat from offshore gambling and betting platforms that continue to operate in the country without legal oversight and, by therefore, without consumer protection or warranty.
For many years, these offshore rigs have proliferated in the country and have made their way into the mainstream. Operating a gambling or betting business inside the country is illegal under Indian laws. Despite this, the companies operate, advertise and interact with users in India, industry sources said.
“These companies are registered in tax havens like Cyprus, Malta and Curaçao. But any visitor to these websites won’t know until they dig deeper and read the fine print. Some apps even offer content in regional languages to make it more appealing to users,” an industry source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Even in states where online gambling is not permitted, these platforms continue to operate with impunity. We saw this last year when Karnataka notified an amendment to its Karnataka Police Act, banning all forms of online gambling with a monetary component. While legitimate gambling apps suspended operations and blocked anyone in the state from accessing games, these offshore gambling sites continued to operate unabated. Banning legitimate business activities will only stimulate the illicit and black market in gambling and betting, industry sources added.
No legal oversight on actual threat
The online gambling industry says states have failed to address the real threat of offshore gambling and betting platforms that continue to operate in the country without legal oversight and, therefore, consumer protection. consumers
Act with impunity
Even in states where online gambling is not permitted, these platforms (offshore platforms) continue to operate with impunity.