Decision follows reports of people falling into debt trap through online gaming
The Tamil Nadu government on Friday appointed a panel headed by former Judge of the Madras High Court, Justice K Chandru, to look into the adverse effects of online rummy.
The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday. There have been incidents of online gaming addicts losing money and falling into debt traps, said a government release.
Based on the panel’s report, an ordinance will be promulgated, to find a solution to the issue immediately. The State would set a precedent for other states, the release said.
On June 6, a 29-year-old resident of Chennai allegedly killed herself after losing 20 sovereigns of gold jewellery and Rs 3 lakh in an online rummy game.
The members of the Justice Chandru panel will include technical expert Sankararaman from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras; Lakshmi Vijayakumar, a noted psychiatrist and founder of Sneha, an NGO for prevention of suicide; and Vinit Dev Wankhede, Additional Director-General of Police, the release said.
The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly brought in a legislation banning online gaming in February last year. However, the Madras High Court struck it down in August. The state government appealed in the Supreme Court in November and the matter is yet to be heard.
Legislations enacted by other States, including Karnataka and Kerala, have also been struck down by the respective High Courts, the release said.
Welcoming the Tamil Nadu government’s decision, Sameer Badra, CEO, E-Gaming Federation, said the government should implement a robust regulatory framework that safeguards players by encouraging responsible gaming and helping the legitimate skill gaming operators grow while weeding out the illegal gambling operators.
“Extreme steps like a ban would only help fly-by-night operators and encourage illegal gaming, leading to detrimental impact on the very players the government seeks to protect,” he said.
“We look forward to collaborating and offering our expertise to the government in developing comprehensive policies on responsible gaming that will establish a well-regulated and sustainable industry,” he added.