Governor R.N. Ravi on Wednesday returned to the State government the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Bill, passed by the Assembly on October 19.
A senior official said the reason cited for the return was that the State legislature had “no legislative competence” to frame the Bill.
Also read | Chandru panel highlights how gambling addiction can impact lives
To substantiate his position, the Governor referred to the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s draft amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Liability and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, for which the public feedback was invited in January.
The option available to the government now is to refer the Bill back to the Assembly for another adoption.
The Assembly will commence its sittings on March 20. The House had passed the Bill to replace an ordinance promulgated by Mr. Ravi on October 1.
The ordinance, cleared at a meeting of the Cabinet on September 26 under the chairmanship of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, had banned rummy and poker. It was formulated as a sequel to the recommendation made by a committee led by former Madras High Court judge K. Chandru.
This development, in turn, followed the Madras High Court’s decision in August 2021 to strike down the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act, enacted when the AIADMK was in power.
It may be noted that all political parties in the State favour the ban on online gambling.