Legalising betting, gambling not desirable in present scenario: Law Commission

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 06, 2018 21:20 hrs
Gambling in India

Clarifying its stance over the legalisation of regulated gambling and betting, the Law Commission of India on Friday stated that it had "strongly and categorically" told the Centre that this would not be desirable in the present scenario.

The Law Commission further explained that a complete ban on unlawful betting and gambling must be ensured, adding that its report has been misinterpreted and not highlighted in the right perspective.

"Effective regulation remains the only viable option to control gambling if it is not possible to enforce a complete ban," it said in a clarification note.

The note was issued by the Law Commission after it received mixed reactions over its 276th report, titled "Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting Including in Cricket in India".

"Incapability to enforce a complete ban has resulted in a rampant increase in illegal gambling, resulting in a boom in black-money generation and circulation. Since it is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option," the commission wrote in the report.

It further asserted that the current measures undertaken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to control unlawful activities are "ineffective and insufficient".

Addressing media here on Friday, Congress leader Manish Tewari said: "It's a very bad idea. It should be opposed. Not only it will subvert sports but also convert every pan shop into a 'jue ka addaa' (gambling hub). This will have serious implications on the social health of the country."

On the other hand, former cricketer Madan Lal called it a "good judgement."

"Betting is not going to end anyway. But, I will say whatever money gets collected it should be divided amongst weak associations. Let's say like Hockey, Kabaddi, and other less funded sports. Fixing totally depends on the players, only those who can't play will fall prey to the match-fixing. They don't need to do such thing, as there is money in cricket," he told ANI.

Former Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabjee also shared similar sentiments.

"I think it's a good suggestion and I welcome this. Anything can cause a problem, it depends how it works for the people. But that shouldn't be the reason not to accept the recommendation of the Law Commission. I think we should implement the recommendation and see how it works," he said.

"If a problem arises after implementation then you can again approach for the amendment and modification. Law is not the answer, it is how you work on it and it depends on the people who implement it. That's the key for success," Sorabjee added.



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