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Tamil Nadu govt bans online games and gambling

Life of online gamers is set to become tougher in Tamil Nadu as the state government has issued new strict laws regarding gambling and online gaming. Tamil Nadu is the third Indian state to bring up such laws. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had passed laws to curb gambling in states earlier this year.

The new law in Tamil Nadu will see people playing online games get a Rs 5000 fine and a six-month prison sentence. Meanwhile, owners of gaming houses will be fined Rs 10000 and two years in prison if found guilty. The new law also prohibits the electronic transfer of money for placing bets and prize money-related games.

The new law is a significant blow for fantasy related games. Since Tamil Nadu is one of the biggest states in India, gaming companies will lose a sizeable chunk of the audience. From a societal point of view, this law will help in reducing the addiction of gambling amongst the younger generation.

Earlier in November, former BCCI president Anurag Thakur spoke in favour of betting and gambling. It will be intriguing to see if the central government will take a big step to stop online gambling if other states in the country will follow Tamil Nadu’s example. A proper set of guidelines may help the audience as well as betting companies.

The United Kingdom has made betting legal, but there are often campaigns run by betting companies that spread the message of gambling responsibly. However, India remains far from making betting legal after numerous betting controversies that have taken place in cricket across the country. Moreover, the digitisation of money has helped the gambling industry to expand rapidly. Unless there are strict guidelines and proper awareness programmes about gambling, various state governments and central government cannot make betting legal.

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