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The plea follows close in the heels of the Madras High Court taking critical note that there is no law in place to regulate online gaming and gambling.
A Chennai-based Advocate has moved the Madras High Court seeking criminal action against proprietors of online gambling websites.
Notably, the PIL moved by Advocate AP Suryaprakasam also calls for action against celebrities promoting online gambling websites. In this regard, the petition names cricketer Virat Kohli and actress Tamannah.
As per the petitioner, unethical and immoral online gambling is being promoted by promising people initial wins. To attract innocent youngsters, the petitioner contends that the services of celebrities such as Kohli and actresses such as Tamannah are engaged.
The petitioner goes on to argue that such celebrities, in turn, brainwash youngsters to fall into the trap of gambling.
The petitioner contends that the addiction to such online gambling sites are more dangerous than the blue whale game as "the victim not only spends his money but also spends their family members’ money and put them in financial burden while in the case of blue whale, the victim alone suffers."
As such, the following directions have been sought from the High Court, i.e.:
To close all online gambling sites;
To arrest and prosecute persons running online gambling websites and celebrities endorsing the same for promoting gambling, for getting youngsters hooked on to such illegal gambling and for abetting suicide.
Recently, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court had asked the State to consider bringing in a law to regulate online gaming, observing that while real-world gambling has been prohibited, there is no corresponding law for online gambling.
"Not only in the State of Tamil Nadu, but also in the entire Country, such online games, viz., RummyPassion, Nazara, LeoVegas, Spartan Poker, Ace2Three, PokerDangal, Pocket52, My11Circle, Genesis Casino, etc., are mushrooming", Justice B Pugalendhi had observed.
He added that, "This Court is not against the virtual games, but, the anguish of this Court is that there should be a regulatory body to monitor and regulate the legal gaming activities, be it in the real world or the virtual world."