New Tamil Nadu Law Criminalizes Online Gambling and Regulates Online Games
The Tamil Nadu government has taken a strict stance against online gambling and has recently enacted the “Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022.” The law aims to crack down on online gambling and regulate online games. The government’s move comes after the cabinet approved an ordinance last year to ban online games with stakes.
Punishments for Online Gambling and Advertising
According to the new law, anyone who provides online gambling services or online games of chance can face imprisonment of up to three years or fines of up to 10 lakh rupees, or both. Additionally, the law prohibits the making of any advertisements that promote online gambling, with violators facing imprisonment of up to one year, or fines of up to ₹5,00,000, or both.
Penalties for Online Gamblers
Individuals who engage in online gambling or play online games of chance with money or virtual stakes can face imprisonment of up to three months, fines of up to ₹5,000, or both.
Establishment of Tamil Nadu Online Gaming Authority
The Act proposes the establishment of the Tamil Nadu Online Gaming Authority, which will be led by a retired officer of the rank of Chief Secretary to the Government. The authority will consist of members with expertise in law enforcement, information technology, psychology, and online gaming.
The Authority’s responsibilities will include issuing registration certificates to local online games providers, identifying online games of chance, overseeing the functioning of online games providers, collecting and maintaining information on their activities, and resolving grievances or complaints against them.
Prohibition on Financial Transactions for Online Gambling
The law prohibits banks, financial institutions, and payment gateway providers from facilitating any transactions for online gambling or online games of chance.
Regulations for Local and Non-Local Online Games Providers
Local online games providers in Tamil Nadu can only offer services in accordance with a registration certificate obtained from the Authority, and existing services can continue for 90 days, subject to the prohibitions of the Act. Non-local online games providers are prohibited from offering online gambling services in the state and must geo-block their services.
Penalties for Non-Local Games Providers
Non-local games providers convicted under the Act face imprisonment of one to three years and a fine of ₹5,00,000-₹10,00,000. Subsequent convictions may result in varying terms of imprisonment and hefty fines.
The Tamil Nadu Online Gambling Ban Act is a strict regulation that is aimed at curtailing online gambling in the state. The law has established severe penalties for those who violate it, including heavy fines and imprisonment. The establishment of the Tamil Nadu Online Gaming Authority is a step towards ensuring that online games are regulated and that gamers are protected. It remains to be seen how effective this new law will be in curbing online gambling in the state, but it is a step in the right direction.