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Yasmin Moore January 7, 2022 3 min read
Tamil Nadu Bans Online Gambling Amid Suicide Cases
Tamil Nadu, an Indian state at the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, has taken a stance against online gambling and is moving toward banning it locally. The news was announced by Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin in the State Assembly.
Tamil Nadu Will Ban Online Gambling to Protect the Youth
Stalin gave further insights into the state’s decision. He explained that the previous government was already moving in that direction because of people taking their own lives after losing too much money when wagering irresponsibly. A total of three people had been reported to have taken their own lives in November 2020, after losing too much to wagering. Here is exactly what the government had to say on the topic:
“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.”Chief Minister Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin
To make sure that the ban is taken seriously and in order to curb online gambling for good, the Indian state has decided to impose fines on those who are found guilty of placing a wager online. Players face up to $67 in fines and six months in prison while people who operate common gaming houses can a fine as high as $134 and spend up to two years in prison.
The government in Tamil Nadu will follow closely fund transfers and will try to stop transfers going to wagering sites. This ban will work both ways and will also prevent prize money from reaching their recipients, thus discouraging people from gambling even further.
Tamil Nadu also envisions various fines for betting operators who make their offerings available in the state.
India’s Relationship With Gambling
India as a whole has never been too fond of gambling. Since the Public Gambling Act of 1867, all gambling is considered illegal in the country. There are some loopholes in that rule as the ban mainly applies to games that are completely reliant on chance. Poker and rummy, on the other hand, are much more reliant on a player’s skill, which is why providers of online gaming weren’t persecuted until now.
However, it seems that India is starting to take such games into account and crackdown on gambling as a whole. The Indian government argues that even those skill-based games can be considered gambling when there is money on the line.
Cases like this one clearly demonstrate why a certain degree of education is needed before people blindly throw themselves into the world of gambling as they can harm not only themselves but the whole industry. It is possible that this ban will encourage people to seek the black market which can increase the overall gambling harm. On the contrary, teaching people to be responsible and make informed decisions is crucial to having a prosperous gaming industry.