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Petition in Madras HC Seeks to Restrict Minors from Online Gambling Sites and Apps

Court seeks response from Indian government on a petition calling for measures to prevent minors access to online gambling apps and sites

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has sought the Union's response in a petition seeking to restrict minors from playing on online gambling and sports betting websites, reported Times of India. The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was brought by Tirunelveli activist S. Ayyaa and heard by a Division Bench comprising Justices R. Mahadevan and J. Sathya Narayana Prasad. Online gambling websites and apps offer attractive offers to potential consumers, as a result of which teenagers become addicted to the platform, noted the petitioner. In light of gambling-related deaths by suicide of minor boys in the state, the PIL pushed for "firm laws" that will prevent minors from gambling. Minors should be prohibited from participating in gambling games like online lotteries and Ludo, urged the petition as per DT Next. Apps must also confirm the user's age with an ID proof like an Aadhaar card. The gambled amount should be reported to authorities and shouldn't exceed the upper limits of the "law regulated", the petition adds. DT Next did not specify which authorities or law the petitioner was referring to. Why it matters: At least 17 online gambling-related suicides have taken place in Tamil Nadu in the last few years. Political pressure and public outcry led to the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government passing an ordinance banning online gambling and games of chance in the state. However, the ordinance, a small step towards gambling regulation, expired late this month as the state's Governor R.N. Ravi reportedly delayed approving it. As a result,…

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