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Law Commission recommends regulated and legalised sports gambling

Law Commission recommends regulated and legalised sports gambling

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Published: 6 July 2018 6:02 AM GMT
In its 276th report, the Law Commission of India made some startling suggestions yesterday surrounding the narrative of sports betting in India. It definitely has been a problem that has corrupted Indian sports, most notably cricket, for a long time now. According to the Law Commission, a complete ban has not been the solution till now. The better alternative, according to them, would be to legalise the practice and make sure it is regulated under specific laws.
The report is titled, “Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including in Cricket in India” and passages from it state:

“Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including in Cricket in India” states, “Having discussed the pros and cons of legalising regulated gambling and betting activities, it would be apt to say that the arguments in favour of the same far outweigh the arguments alluding to the immorality of these activities.

Since it is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option. Thus, if Parliament or the State Legislatures wish to proceed in this direction, the Commission feels that regulated gambling would ensure detection of fraud and money laundering, etc. Such regulation of gambling would require a three-pronged strategy, reforming the existing gambling (lottery, horse racing) market, regulating illegal gambling and introducing stringent and over- arching regulations.”

The report points out at the very valid fact that online betting, which ensures total privacy and anonymity, is the reason why the practice is exceedingly difficult to monitor and curb. The obscurity with which things are carried out now also ensures the hold of the underworld on the practice.  A legalised system would strike at that very problem. Furthermore, it has been found that taxing the money circulated in the betting industry has been found to generate revenue which can then be used for further welfare and development.
This comes after the Supreme Court directive which had been issued in the case of Board of Control for Cricket in India v. Cricket Association of Bihar & Others which had broached the topic of legalised betting and had mandated that the LCI consider the consequences of such a system.
If passed, this would indeed be a groundbreaking step for India. So far, the major dissenting voice has come from a member of the LCI panel itself who says, "The socio-economic and cultural circumstances of the country are not pragmatic to accept legalised gambling activities, as it is still treated as a social stigma," in one of his notes.
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