An explanation was sought from the Governor last week regarding the delay in giving assent to the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill.

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi/File Photo
news Legislation Monday, November 28, 2022 - 19:09

The Tamil Nadu government’s ordinance to ban online gambling lapsed on Sunday, November 27, as Governor RN Ravi failed to grant assent to the related Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, 2022. The Bill was passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly earlier on Ocobter 19. Last week, an explanation was sought from the Governor regarding the delay in giving assent to the Bill, and the state government emphasised the need for a law to ban online gambling in the state. This comes after the Governor’s office raised some doubts regarding the Bill. 

Addressing the media on Monday, November 28, Tamil Nadu Law Minister S Regupathy said that the government had clarified all the doubts that the Governor had raised. He added: “We were hoping to get his [the Governor’s] assent by yesterday. We had also said that 95% of the people in Tamil Nadu want online rummy and poker to be banned. The World Health Organisation even termed this [addiction to gambling] as a disease. In this situation, it is our duty to eradicate this disease and that is what the Tamil Nadu government has done.” 

When asked why the Governor had not given his assent to the Bill, Regupathy said that there was no reason for him to delay it. He added that only the Governor knows the reason for not giving assent. Responding to another question on the next step for the Tamil Nadu government, Regupathy said, “If we still get the assent, we will implement the law. Otherwise, there are several laws that are already in place and we will take action [against online gambling platforms] under them.” 

There have been several cases of people in Tamil Nadu dying by suicide because they lost money on online gambling platforms. On Saturday, November 26, a labourer from Odisha working in Sankarankovil, Tenkasi, died by suicide after losing Rs 70,000 to online rummy. The labourer, identified as Maji, and her husband worked at a private spinning company in Velayuthapuram. A report by The New Indian Express said that the deceased person’s body has been taken to the government hospital in Velayuthapuram for a post-mortem. The report also mentioned that a case has been filed under Section 174(3) of the Code of Criminal Code of Procedure (suicide by a woman within seven years of marriage). 

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organizations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.   

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Karnataka

Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222

Kerala

Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana

State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.   

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726

Click here for working helplines across India.

 

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