Gambling and Sports Betting to be legalized in India: Law Commission Report
GAMBLING AND SPORTS
- Gambling in our country is governed by the Public Gambling Act, 1867.
- The Public Gambling Act, 1867 was passed during British rule.
- This act makes gambling or betting activities, illegal in our country.
- There is huge, illegal, unregulated gambling market is prevailing in our Country.
- The illegal betting market in India is worth $150 billion (Rs 9.9 lakh crore) a year.
- Out of $150 billion around $200 million bet on every one-day international played by the Indian cricket team, this information is given by Doha-based International Centre for Sports Security, this organization promotes integrity and security in sports.
- In 2011, the International Cricket Council (ICC) also recommended the legal framework for cricket betting in our Country to clean up Cricket.
- Justice Lodha Committee also recommended that betting in cricket should be legalised, though match-fixing should be a crime.
- Horse Race betting in our country is legal and also comes under the Goods and Service Tax act. There is GST of 28% on Horse Race Betting.
- Countries like Australia, Canada, few states of USA, China etc. allow sports betting. Moreover, these countries use the revenue generated from betting in developing sports infrastructure and tourism. Countries like China and USA use such revenue in Elite sports.
276th Law Commission Report
- 276th Law Commission Report was formulated in furtherance of a Supreme Court, where Court had mandated the Law Commission to study the possibility of legalising betting in India.
- Committee said that a complete ban has not been returning the desired results and also with the advent of online gambling it has become extremely challenging to monitor or curb these activities and therefore it is recommended the legalisation of regulated betting and gambling activities.
- LCR recommended that by regulating and taxing betting and gambling the revenue generated can be good source of revenue. Also, it will curb underworld control on illegal betting and gambling.
- LCR also recommended that regulating of gambling and betting would enable the Government to effectively curb the menace off black-money generation through illegal gambling.
- LCR also said Parliament or State legislature if proceed in direction of regulating betting or gambling, then regulated gambling would ensure detection of fraud and money laundering, etc. Parliament or state legislature may exercise its power given under article 249 or 252.
- LCR also recommended that Other skill-centric should be exempted from the prohibition.
- LCR also recommended that Gambling and betting should be offered only through India licensed operator from India possessing valid licenses granted by the game licensing authority.
- LCR also recommended that Gambling to be categorized into Proper Gambling and Small Gambling.
- LCR also recommended that All transactions to be linked to Aadhaar Card/ PAN card.
- LCR also recommended that no pornographic content on websites advertising gambling.
- LCR also recommended that Transaction between operators and participants indulging in these activities should mandatorily be made ‘cashless’. This would enable appropriate authority to keep a close eye on every single transaction so made.
- LCR also recommended that Income derived to be taxable under Income Tax Act and Goods and Service Tax.
- LCR also recommended that there should be an encouragement of FDI in the gambling industry especially in the states decide to permit casinos, propelling the growth of the tourism an hospitality industries.
AMENDMENT TO BE REQUIRED IN VARIOUS ACTS FOR RECOMMENDATION SUGGESTED:
- Amendment in Indian Contract Act, 1872 to allow legal transaction with licensed gambling operators.
- Amendment in National Sports Development Code of India.
- Amendment in The Public Gambling Act, 1867.
- Legalisation will lead to amassing money illicitly bu a handful of game operators, thereby pushing the innocent masses to hands of poverty.
- Most of the people in our country consider Gambling and betting as immoral. But legalisation would lead to involving large masses of people into it.
- The future generation will be involved in unethical practices.
- Our country’s socio-economic and cultural circumstances are not developed to accept legalised gambling activities.
- It will be difficult to regulate gambling in such a big country. Already there is hue and cry related to women, child, poverty etc.
- People who do not have any awareness will also get involved in such practices leading to wrong path and poverty.
- More cases involving fraud etc. leading to over-burdening on Judiciary and Executive agencies.
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