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Distinguish Between Games of Skill and Chance: CUTS’ Submissions On Tamil Nadu’s Gambling Law

In its submission, CUTS highlighted issues like lack of clarity on the status of games of skill and chance

Clarity on the status of games of skill and chance and heightened consumer protections were some of the issues highlighted by CUTS in their submissions to the Tamil Nadu government's August public consultation on a forthcoming online gambling law. Notably, the think tank also cautioned against the Tamil Nadu government's opaque pre-legislative consultation process in its August submissions, highlighting the fact that an expert committee's report and draft law had not been made public. In response to rising gambling-related suicides in the state, the government constituted an expert committee led by Justice K. Chandru (Retd.) in June to frame recommendations for a draft law. The committee submitted its report in July, after which the announcement for the consultation followed in August. Neither the committee's report nor the consultation submissions have been made public by the Tamil Nadu government, which went on to issue an ordinance banning online gambling and games of chance in the state in October. Why it matters: Submissions to public consultations offer a window of insight into stakeholder concerns, and whether the government has addressed them or not. Failing to publicly disclose them limits citizen understandings of how the government is approaching lawmaking. This is especially relevant in the case of the Tamil Nadu government's now-lapsed ordinance banning online gambling, which faced a constitutional challenge at the Madras High Court within weeks of being passed. As MediaNama has previously reported, its ambiguous language raised many questions about the government's basic definitions of gambling and gaming, which could potentially…

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