Law Panel calls for legalizing of gambling and betting in sports and making them taxable

The Law Panel suggested gambling in two categories- 'proper gambling' and 'small gambling'.

Illegal betting in India is a big thing with allegedly billions in cash being involved every match

The Law commission in India has recommended to the Indian government to legalize betting and gambling in sports; but have sought stringent measures to make sure it is a completely cashless transaction with involvement of Aadhar and PAN card, to avoid activities like money laundering.

In its report - Legal framework: Gambling and sports betting including in cricket in India-  the law panel concluded that since there has been an incapability of enforcing a ban completely on betting and gambling, there has been a sharp rise in these illegal activities, black money and its circulation. "Since it is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option," it noted.

The panel also gave examples of other countries like China where the state lotteries sales recorded a $51 billion high in 2013, this additional income generated through imposing the Income Tax and the Goods and Services Tax, can prove to be a good source of income that can be used for public welfare.

The Parliament may legislate in the exercise of its powers under Articles 249 or 252 of the Constitution, or the panel recommended that parliament may exercise a law modeled for regulating and governing gambling that may be adopted by the states.

In case legislation is made under Article 252, states other than the consenting states will be free to adopt the same. Being a state subject under List II of the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution, it is needless to say that State Legislature(s) is competent to enact the required Law for the State(s) concerned, while duly taking note of the National Policy on gambling etc., and other legal considerations, the commission observed.

Only Indian licensed operators from India possessing valid licenses granted by the game licensing authority should be given rights to offer such services. Also, the number of transactions for the participants should be limited in a specific period i.e., monthly, half-yearly or yearly.

"The nature of stakes should be restricted to money with a linkage to PAN card and Aadhaar card, and the betting amount should be prescribed by law, having an upper limit on the amount one can legally stake in a gamble, which may be on the basis of the deposit, winnings or losses," it said.

Law panel suggested two categories for gambling - 'proper gambling' and 'small gambling'. Proper gambling will be high stakes, with only members of high-income groups allowed to participate. Members from the lower income group may be confined to small gambling only.

(With TOI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 06 Jul, 2018

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