LCI want to legalize gambling and sports betting in India

9 July 2018

India needs to legalize sports betting and gambling in order to increase revenues to the state treasury, but this requires a series of regulatory measures.

The Legal Commission of India (LCI) for more than two years has been investigating ways to prevent illegal gambling activity, of which, in particular, taxes are not received. The result of the study was the report of "Legal framework: gambling and sports bookmaking, including cricket, in India."

According to the study, India was waging a losing battle with illegal gambling operators on its territory. The country's constitution has ensured the national parliament the opportunity to remedy the situation, so it's time to pass laws that allow individual states to abandon legal gambling within their borders.

"The laws of India on gambling are already making an exception for so-called skill-based gambling, including horse racing, and LCI recommends that other skills-based games receive similar privileges," the report says.

The government needs to introduce a number of restrictions to cope with the problems of gambling addiction and money laundering, including transferring all transactions between players and operators to a cashless e-wallets system. Under these conditions, all operations will be linked to the AADHAAR player identification numbers, as well as their tax account number in the bank (PAN) and can be easily tracked.

LCI also proposes to qualify gambling in two categories: "true" and "small", where "true" refers to higher bets. Only individuals whose income exceeds a certain level will be able to take part in such games.

Persons who receive cash assistance from the state, or whose income is below the minimum level, will not be allowed to any kind of legal gambling.

In addition, LCI recommends that the limit for gambling deposits, winnings and losses is mandatory. Also, limits on the number of allowed gambling transactions will be introduced for a certain period, for example, in a month or in a year, depending on the player's personal financial circumstances.

LCI also insists on the closure of the Indian gambling market for foreign operators, but believes that the laws should be amended to "attract foreign direct investment in the casino / online gambling industry authorized by the law of technological cooperation, licensing and trademark sharing agreements etc.".

According to the requirements of the organization, gambling sites with an Indian license will be required to prominently place information regarding responsible gambling, and will also have to ensure that their online portals will not display "unacceptable or pornographic content."

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