EPWA asks Tamil Nadu government to recognize skill-based sports as a separate sport: details

EPWA Asks Tamil Nadu Government to Recognise Skill-Based Games as Distinct Sport: Details

India’s esports athletes’ body EPWA has requested the Tamil Nadu government to recognize skill sports as a separate sport, not club it with gambling and provide a safe harbor for professional players, a senior official of the body said on Friday. “We have sent a representation to the state government on August 13. We have requested the Tamil Nadu government to recognize skill games as a separate sport and not associate it with gambling and provide a safe harbor for professional players,” Esports Players Welfare Association (EPWA) said. ) director Shivani Jha told PTI.

The Madras High Court had in August last year struck down recent amendments to the Tamil Nadu Gaming Act passed in 1930, which banned online gaming of rummy and poker with stakes. The bench declared as unconstitutional Part II of the TN Gaming and Police Laws (Amendment) Act, 2021 which banned betting or betting in cyberspace and banned games of skill if bets, wagers, money or other games are played.

However, the bench gave freedom to the state to pass another law without any drawback.

Tamil Nadu has set up a committee headed by retired Justice K Chandru to advise on drafting a new law on online games. The state government has sought input from various stakeholders for the new law.

Chess grandmaster Ankit Rajpara sought the central government’s intervention in bans imposed by states in support of online gamers. “In the past, the central government has reassured the players in stakeholder meetings that we will not be treated as criminals, however, the state governments are doing the opposite,” Rajpara said.

Jha said many laws and putting skill-based games in the same bucket as gambling are criminalizing skill-based players.

“As India competes in international competitions and as developers create new games, it is imperative for states to regulate online skill-based gaming. Moreover, courts have repeatedly ruled that state governments can only legislate on online gambling, not gaming, putting players at risk.” creates and equates them with gamblers and criminals,” she said.


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