Tamil Nadu to ban on-line gambling? Dy CM OPS tables invoice after spur of suicides in 2020

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Tamil Nadu Dy CM O Pannerselvam tabled the Online Gambling Prohibition Bill in the Assembly on Thursday in an effort to accelerate the process to ban online gambling. Last year in November, Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi Palaniswami had announced that the state would ban online gambling websites and will soon introduce legislation to crack the whip on them after a series of suicides – reportedly due to losses faced from the online gambling games that have rocked the state. 

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A Madurai-based resident filed a PIL at the Madras High court in 2020 seeking a ban on online gambling websites following which the Madurai bench of the HC issued notices to cricketers Virat Kohli, Sourav Ganguly and other actors for endorsing the games despite knowing that people will follow them. Speaking to reporters at the Chennai airport, TN CM Edappadi Palaniswami had then announced that the state would ban online gambling websites and would pass legislation to arrest those who play and run such online games. Citing the move to ban these online gambling games as a result of the demands of various groups, EPS told reporters that the Madras HC had also been informed of the same by the state government. 

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Tamil Nadu’s trouble with online gambling

Two more deaths by suicide by men addicted to online gambling were reported on November 3 after a private bank employee ended his life in the city for the same reason, police said on Tuesday. According to police, 28-year old Jeevanandam of Thondamuthur on the outskirts hanged himself at his house on Monday night after losing money in online gambling, despite being abused by his wife. Unable to bear the loss and due to mental depression, Jeevanandam hanged himself in his house.

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With over 11 suicides reported in the state due to losses in the online gambling games, the Opposition in the state had stepped up the pressure on the AIADMK to ban online gaming websites. DMK supremo MK Stalin had lashed out at the state government for the delay in banning online gambling games despite knowing the number of suicides occurring in the state due to the same reason. Pattali Makkal Katchi had urged the Central government to take immediate steps to prohibit all kinds of online gambling alleging it was highly addictive and several people, who lost their money have ended their lives.

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