Allow gambling, betting in sports: law panel

Allow gambling, betting in sports: law panel

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The Law Commission on Thursday recommended that gambling and betting on sports, including cricket, be allowed as regulated activities taxable under the direct and indirect tax regimes and used as a source for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).

"It is not possible to prevent these activities completely, effectively regulating them remains the only viable option," the commission said, in its report on Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including Cricket in India.

It recommended changes in the law for regulating betting and generating tax revenues from it.

"Parliament may also enact a model law for regulating gambling that may be adopted by the states or in the alternative, Parliament may legislate in exercise of its powers under Articles 249 or 252 of the Constitution. In case legislation is made under Article 252, states other than the consenting states will be free to adopt the same," it stated.

The commission headed by Justice B S Chauhan, however, maintained match-fixing and sports fraud should be specifically made criminal offences with severe punishment.

"The argument that had gambling been regulated in the Mahabharat period, Yudhishtir could not have put his brothers and wife as stakes, perhaps Mahabharat could not have been there, is full of substance," it said.

It recommended linking Aadhar or PAN card of an individual indulging in betting and gambling and making the transaction cashless to regulate illegal activities such as money laundering.

The commission has also recommended amending the laws regulating forex and India's FDI policy to allow investments in the casino and online gaming industry.

 

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