Source: The Hindu
List of Contents
Relevance: This article explains the new amendment passed by the TN government to ban online gaming and the court verdict around it
- Tamil Nadu government, driven by the desire to control the menace of online gambling, has moved legislation to ban online games like rummy and poker.
- The Tamil Nadu government has amended the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act 1930 and banned online games like rummy, poker etc.
- But the Madras High Court has struck down the amendment.
The justifications cited by the Government
- These games can be addictive.
- They can have an economically destabilizing impact on small households.
Madras High Court’s observation
- The amendment failed to make a distinction between games of skill and games of chance.
- The amendment added clauses that would apply to games of skill if played for a wager, bet etc. This is contrary to the previous judicial pronouncements.
- The amendment would render even offline games illegal which are played for prize money.
Issues with the legislation
- Populism has made the state paternalistic, assuming that society needs its guidance. This compromises individual freedom and choice.
- Legislation is guided more by moralism or notions of sin rather than reason.
- Excessive paternalism can easily turn into authoritarianism.
- These activities can be regulated rather than banning them.