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Gaming Report: Tamil Nadu Govt Seeks Public Opinion on Online Gaming Regulation, PMK Leader Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss Asks Gram Sabhas to Pass Resolution Against Online Rummy

Gaming Report: Tamil Nadu Govt Seeks Public Opinion on Online Gaming
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  • Namita Ghosh August 11, 2022
  • 4 Minutes Read

Following the Justice K Chandru committee report calling for a complete ban on all online games, the Tamil Nadu government has sought public and stakeholder opinion on the matter. While gaming operators and the public can present their case on the issue by August 12, PMK President and Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, has asked village panchayats to pass resolutions against online rummy and liquor.

The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS) has signed on former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Mukul Mudgal, and former Delhi High Court judge, Justice GS Sistani, on the Fantasy Sports Regulatory Authority (FSRA) panel.

Thailand is exploring the possibility of permitting integrated casino resorts in select locations in the country. Going by the latest news, MGM Resorts International is one of the prominent casino companies looking to enter the country.

 

Tamil Nadu Govt Seeks Public Opinion on Online Gaming Regulation, PMK Leader & MP Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss Asks Gram Sabhas to Pass Resolution Against Online Rummy

The Tamil Nadu government, determined to ban all forms of real money online games, has sought opinions from gaming operators and the general public on regulating such games. The government will hold a meeting of stakeholders to present their case in person on August 11. Anyone can share their input on the issue on the government’s official website by August 12.

While the government for working on seeking a broader consensus on the issue, PMK President and Rajya Sabha MP, Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, reached out to village panchayats, asking them to pass resolutions against online rummy and liquor.

In a recent tweet, Dr. Ramadoss, the former Union Health Minister, said panchayats should undertake the resolution during their scheduled meeting on Independence Day. He said – “Online rummy and liquor are the two major evils in the State. In the last one year, 28 persons have died of online rummy, and more than two lakh lives are taken by liquor every year. To make the sounds of people louder, resolutions against online rummy and liquor should be passed in the grama sabha meetings, and a large number of PMK men should participate in the grama sabha meetings.”

Tamil Nadu has reported a spate of suicides in recent months, allegedly due to people losing money in playing games of stakes like rummy. After the Madras High Court quashed the state government’s online gaming ban last August, the government’s appeal against the order is still pending before the Supreme Court.

Regulation of online games has been a long-pressing demand of the industry components. Early in June, the Union government set up an inter-ministerial panel to investigate the possibility of regulating the online gaming sector.

The Tamil Nadu government set up a committee to promulgate an ordinance on online rummy the same month. On June 27, the Justice K Chandru-headed committee submitted its report, recommending a complete ban on all forms of real money online games.

Recently, the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) urged the Tamil Nadu governor not to pass the proposed ordinance, underlining that a complete ban on skill games had been termed arbitrary, illegal, and unconstitutional by the Madras High Court in its order dated August 3, 2021.

 

FIFS Signs Retired Judges Justice Mukul Mudgal & Justice GS Sistani For FSRA

The Federation of Indian Fantasy Sports (FIFS), a self-regulatory body for the fantasy sports industry, has onboarded two retired judges, former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Mukul Mudgal, and former Delhi High Court judge Justice GS Sistani, as members on its Fantasy Sports Regulatory Authority (FSRA) panel.

Justice Mukul Mudgal and GS Sistani
Justice Mukul Mudgal and GS Sistani

 

Father of musician and poker player Dhaval Mudgal, Justice Mudgal has been a long-time proponent of regulating online games in India. As a member of the FSRA panel, he will work independently to oversee that FSRA members abide by the panel’s rules.

Speaking on the announcement, Chairman of FIFS, Bimal Julka, said, “The Indian fantasy sports industry is at an inflection point. Justice’s extensive knowledge, collective experience, and expertise (Retd.) Mudgal and Justice (Retd.) Sistani will be invaluable to lead this sunshine sector and chart the path towards its long-term growth trajectory.”

The Dream11-backed self-regulatory body came into existence in 2017 and works on creating a benchmark of ethical operations and responsible gaming for the Indian fantasy gaming industry. It is chaired by former Supreme Court judge Justice AK Sikri.

Last month, quizzer, orator, and CEO of Prime Volleyball League Joy Bhattacharya joined FSRA as its director-general.

 

MGM International Exploring the Possibility of Entering Thailand

Last month, the Thailand government announced plans to allow casinos to operate from select venues in the country. According to the latest updates, the global casino behemoth, MGM Resorts International, has shown strong interest in setting up a casino in Thailand. The company has an operational casino license for Macau, which will expire by the end of 2022.

During a recent investor’s call to discuss the company’s Q2 earnings, MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle pointed out that doing business in Macau remains a challenge. While the company recorded $1.8 Billion in profits in Q2 of 2022, the EBITDAR loss in Macau amounted to $52 Million. He added the company is improving its capital reserves, allowing it to explore new opportunities actively.

Hornbuckle said the company is looking at Japan as a market and cannot ignore the possibility of entering Thailand in the near future. “Between that and Macau, we feel pretty comfortable with what’s happening there. Obviously, we will watch, like everyone, what happens in Thailand – or anywhere else for that matter – but we like where we are, and we’d like to be in Japan at scale,” he said.

In the last quarter, MGM acquired The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, announced the sale of Gold Strike Tunica operations for $450 Million.

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