NEW DELHI: The Law Commission is set to recommend legalising betting in sports and gambling. It will soon submit its report, a draft copy of which has been accessed by Express, to the government and the Supreme Court.
The panel is of the opinion that lawful but strict regulation of gambling and betting would help curb illegal practices that generate black money. It would also shore up revenues of the government and generate employment.
“If it is not possible to prevent such activities completely, strictly regulating these activities remains the only viable option. Regulated gambling would ensure detection of fraud and money laundering,” says the report.
In the commission’s estimate, unregulated gambling and betting generates about Rs 13,000 crore annually. This is a major source of black-money, which is often used to fund terrorist and other anti-national activities.
The Supreme Court had mandated that the commission examine the issue of sports betting and gambling following the spot-fixing and betting scandal during the 2013 season of IPL.
Cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan, the then BCCI president N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, and several bookies were arrested in connection with the case.
The commission has recommended that those who run sports betting and gambling businesses should be licensed, money transfers cashless and gamblers and bettors must compulsorily link their Aadhaar and PAN cards.
“To protect the vulnerable class of people from the ill-effects of these activities and with a view to enhancing transparency, gambling and betting activities should be linked with the Aadhaar/PAN of the individuals and operators,” the commission says.
Cashless gambling and betting “would enable appropriate authorities to keep a close eye on every single transaction made in this connection. Cash transactions in this industry should entail penal consequences under relevant provisions of law.”
Aadhaar/PAN, cashless must
To regulate betting and gambling, the commission says such activities must be linked to the Aadhaar/PAN of the individuals and operators and all money transfers should be cashless. This would “protect the vulnerable class of people”
Categories for the rich & poor
The commission suggested gambl-ing be categorised as “proper gambling” and “small gambling”. The former would involve high stakes and be feasible only for the rich. Poorer groups would be permitted “small gambling”