Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Friday sentenced the order banning online gambling in the state to Rs 5,000 and jail time of up to six months.
Online games and gambling?
The first versions of community games were gaming arcades, which were very popular in the United States and Japan in the early 1990s. These arcades required the player to buy in-game playing time with a few chips. From arcade, the game moved on to home consoles, then to personal computers.
With the invention of the Internet and the advent of connectivity on personal computers, these multiplayer games saw players host games using local area networks.
With the advent of cheap internet, all arcade-based multiplayer games have come online. Nowadays, although almost all games are played online, when the user connects their device to a central server hosted by the game company, most of them are free and for entertainment purposes only.
Multiplayer games such as Defense of the Ancients or Dota, Players Unknown Battleground or PUBG, Counter-Strike, although free for most users, give the player the option to purchase an in-game edition in the avatar . Other multiplayer card games such as rummy, blackjack, and poker require the user to invest money to enter the game and play with other players around the world.
Here’s some reason why has Tamil Nadu banned online games and gambling:
In the ordinance banning gambling, the governor said that because of online gambling, innocent people, mostly young people, are being cheated and some people have committed suicide. Thus, the State has decided to ban online gambling to “avoid such suicidal incidents and protect innocent people against the misdeeds of online gambling”.
Any type of gambling or betting is also prohibited in cyberspace for the use of computers or any other communication device, general gambling halls and any electronic transfer of funds to distribute winnings or cash prizes.
This effectively means players in the state will not be able to purchase add-ons for the games they play, visit gaming arcades, or participate in online gaming tournaments. Some multiplayer games like Counter-Strike buy up to Rs 10,000 in weekly tournaments.
While there has been some debate as to whether online gambling is all about luck or skill, the advent of money has complicated matters. Most of the opponents of online games and gambling said that because there are no rules, most of the players spend a lot of money to buy in these games.
Critics have also said that since these games are played by children of all ages, the lack of money to purchase these add-ons puts a variety of peer pressures leading to unpleasant situations.
What other states have banned online games and gambling?
While gambling and sports betting are banned throughout the country, India has a lottery system in around ten states such as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Nagaland, Punjab, Sikkim and West Bengal. These lotteries have very strict control over the number of tickets printed and the cash prizes distributed. However, most states are opposed to online gambling or betting because there are very few rules governing the number of players and the investments made in the game. By banning online games and gambling, Tamil Nadu joined his neighbors Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in banning certain types of online games and gambling. On the opposite hand, the state’s neighbor, Karnataka, is additionally legislating to ban online games and gambling.