Regulate gambling in sports

The Law Commission of India submitted a report to the government, saying that since it is impossible to stop illegal gambling, the only viable option left is to “regulate” gambling in sports.

Increase government revenue

The commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge, Justice B.S. Chauhan, recommended “cashless” gambling in sports as a means to increase revenue and deal a blow to unlawful gambling.

The money generated can be used for public welfare activities, it said. For that the revenue from gambling should be taxable under laws like the Income Tax Act and the Goods and Services Tax Act.

Transactions Linked to Aadhaar

Transactions between gamblers and operators should be linked to their Aadhaar and PAN cards so that the government could keep an eye on them, the panel said.

Cap on gambling transactions

The commission recommended a classification of ‘proper gambling’ and ‘small gambling.’ ‘Proper gambling’ would be for the rich who play for high stakes, while ‘small gambling’ would be for the low income groups, it said.

The panel wanted the government to introduce a cap on the number of gambling transactions for each individual, that is, monthly, half-yearly and annual. Restrictions on amount should be prescribed while using electronic money facilities like credit cards, debit cards, and net banking. Gambling websites should not solicit pornography, it said.

Regulations needed to protect vulnerable groups, minors and those below poverty line, those who draw their sustenance from social welfare measures, government subsidies and Jan Dhan account holders from exploitation through gambling, the panel said.

FDI in casions

According to the commission, Foreign Exchange Management and Foreign Direct Investment laws and policies should be amended to encourage investment in the casino/online gaming industry. This would propel tourism and employment, it said.

(Adapted from the Hindu)