Playing online games like poker and rummy involving betting will invite imprisonment of two years or fine not exceeding ₹10,000 or both in Tamil Nadu, says an amendment Bill introduced on Thursday in the Assembly seeking to replace an Ordinance banning cyberspace gambling.

On November 21, 2020, the Governor Banwarilal Purohit promulgated the Ordinance to ban online gaming, wagering or betting in cyberspace.

The Statement of Objects and Reasons for the Bill introduced by Deputy Chief Minister O Paneerselvam said that playing online games that are addictive had developed manifold in recent times. Innocent people got cheated and incidents of suicide were reported. To prevent such incidents and protect innocent people from evils of online gaming, it was decided to ban wagering or betting in cyber space.

The government decided to amend the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act, 1930 (Tamil Nadu Act III of 1930) and to extend the application throughout the State to make consequential amendments to the Chennai City Police Act, 1888 (Tamil Nadu Act III of 1888) and the Tamil Nadu District Police Act, 1989 (Central Act XXIV of 1859), said the Bill.

Accordingly, the Tamil Nadu Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 (Tamil Nadu Ordinance 11 of 2020) was promulgated by the Governor on November 20, 2020 and same was published in the Tamil Nadu government Gazette on November 21, 2020. The Bill now seeks to replace the Ordinance.