online gambling ban: Will contest Tamil Nadu's online gambling ban in court: Gaming companies

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online gambling ban: Will contest Tamil Nadu's online gambling ban in court: Gaming companies
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The E-gaming Federation, a collective of online gaming operators, is set to take the Tamil Nadu Government to court on a law banning online gambling and proposing regulation for online gaming.

An EGF statement said the state law - the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online gaming Act, 2022 - recognises rummy and poker as games of chance, a position overturned in judgments from the Supreme Court, and the Madras High Court which had set aside an earlier amendment to the Tamil Nadu gaming law to prohibit online games involving stake.

The gaming companies under EGF acknowledge the presence of dubious operators in the industry, and suggest that a policy be devised to "weed out the ones who break the law," as opposed to a broadside ban to a $2.2 billion industry. EGF comprises several top gaming firms including the Tiger Global-backed Games 24*7, which runs the RummyCircle game, and Junglee, which won a case against a 2021 ban by the Tamil Nadu government at the Madras High Court in August last year.

Tamil Nadu had taken the ordinance route to enforce the law banning online games. The state legislature today passed a Bill banning online gambling and providing for regulations around online gaming; the state Governor RN Ravi had accorded his assent to an ordinance to the same effect recently.The law describes an online game of chance as one that involves both elements of chance and skill, and "the element of chance dominates over the element of skill," among other wider definitions. The law provides for an Authority - a committee of experts in the fields of online gaming, information technology and psychology - to certify gaming firms and recommend games which need to be banned. Tamil Nadu had chosen to pass an ordinance based on a report by Justice Chandru (retd.) who recommended the action in view of the debt entrapment and suicides that online gambling was causing in the state. The state government's committee to study online gaming involving wagering had filed a report categorising online games into two: one with 'minimal or negligible randomness factor' and 'another having random event or count generators which are pseudo random, addictively designed." The report also The committee headed by Justice K Chandru (retired) had classified online gaming into two: one with “minimal or negligible randomness factor” and “another having random event or count generators which are pseudo random, addictively designed.”The Tamil Nadu Government's new law follows one introduced last year, which was overturned at the Madras High Court. Similar moves by Karnataka and Kerala have also been reversed at the respective courts.(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Updates on The Economic Times.)

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