Does it make sense to legalise betting in India?

Cricket betting is illegal in India imgci.com

No one can imagine the Indian subcontinent without cricket. The game is played throughout the country, from little narrow streets to big grounds.

As huge as this sport is, the money involved in it is much more than most us would imagine.

From legal profiting to black money, cricket goes everywhere. Match-fixing has often made the news, with many players and privately owned teams being booked under it.

Keeping this in mind, the Supreme Court of India appointed a three-panel member led by Justice RM Lodha in January 2015, to look into cleaning Indian cricket. Amid the many recommendations of the committee, one is to legalise betting.

The debate since the panel’s report has been never ending. It is widely being believed that India might regulate betting on sports. The Law Commission of India is said to be studying relevant British laws to seek a precedent for the tricky reforms.

Last year, the Supreme Court of India submitted, “The recommendation made by the committee that betting should be legalised involves the enactment of a law, which is a matter that may be examined by the Law Commission and the Government for such action as may be considered necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case.”

Legalising betting could see an upturn of Indian economy as the treasuries will benefit from the tax collected from such activities.

For now, India only receives tax from horse racing. It might also add to the government’s policy of flushing out black money as the banned betting industry thrives underground. India’s laws also need to be improved to regulate betting activities as there is at present, no specific law which curbs online betting.

While there are definitely advantages of the proposed reform, it has high chances of backfiring as it in a way encourages betting, gambling and match-fixing.

Moreover, primary need of such a law would be an effective law enforcement with which India hasn’t seen much luck in past.

The recommendations of the committee are hanging in the air as a specific deadline for its implementation has not been given.

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