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Puducherry PWD Minister Arumugam Namassivayam Confirms Union Territory’s Plans to Ban Online Rummy

Puducherry to ban online rummy
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  • Namita Ghosh May 4, 2023
  • 2 Minutes Read

The gaming industry faces the potential for another gaming ban, as the Union Territory of Puducherry plans to follow Tamil Nadu’s lead in prohibiting online rummy games. Puducherry PWD Minister Arumugam Namassivayam reaffirmed the government’s intent to ban online rummy games in a statement to the media on Monday, May 1.

During a discussion on the sidelines of a police event, Namassivayam stated that the territorial administration awaits the Union government’s approval to introduce legislation banning real-money online gaming in Puducherry. “The Home Department has cleared the draft of the bill to ban online gambling in the Union Territory. I have cleared the file from my side a month ago. Once the Centre gives its nod, the government will introduce a bill in the Assembly,” he said.

Arumugam Namassivayam
Arumugam Namassivayam


Namassivayam emphasized that the government initiated the process of proposing an online gambling ban even before the Tamil Nadu government took similar measures. He also noted that the BJP was the first party to attempt to ban online gambling in Puducherry and would never allow it in the Union Territory.


Puducherry’s U-Turn on Online Games

Puducherry PWD Minister Arumugam Namassivayam‘s confirmation of the Union Territory’s intention to ban online rummy comes six weeks after Puducherry Law Minister K Lakshminarayanan announced the government’s plans to draft legislation for the same.

During the assembly session on March 23, Lakshminarayanan stated that the proposed Bill would be sent to the Union government for approval. Once approved, the Puducherry government would pass it. This decision was in response to DMK leader R Siva’s call attention motion in the assembly session, urging action against online rummy games.

However, the Puducherry government’s stance on gaming has not always been consistent. In 2016, the government, under former Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, considered allowing offshore casinos to boost tourism. A high-level delegation led by Malladi Krishna Rao planned to study Goa’s offshore casino model. The government abandoned the plan due to political pressure and a change in leadership. In 2020, Narayanasamy reversed his position and called for a ban on online gaming sites.

N Rangasamy took office as Puducherry’s 11th Chief Minister in May 2021. He is known for his strong opposition to online gaming but took no action until Tamil Nadu passed an ordinance banning real money online games in October 2022. Rangasamy applauded Tamil Nadu’s government and declared that Puducherry would follow suit by passing a similar bill.

  1. Narayanasamy also called for an emergency ordinance to ban online gambling, citing that many families face hardships due to the growing addiction to online rummy.

This development contrasts with the central government’s efforts to regulate the online gaming industry. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, on April 6, aiming to regulate online gaming. The new rules involve establishing self-regulatory organizations (SRO) to oversee the gaming sector. The independent, not-for-profit E-Gaming Federation (EGF) is currently in the process of setting up SROs.

Despite the central government’s policy potentially being a game-changer for online gaming, Puducherry remains committed to banning online rummy within the Union Territory.

This is a developing story. Keep following PokerGuru for the latest updates!

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