Gambling or betting practices are commonly prevalent since ancient ages, it includes, playing slots, gambling money on the outcome of event like races, card games, or other unpredictable events which are usually related to sporting activities, and are not regulated under any Act of Parliament. Development of gambling industry requires a trilateral strategy which should improve the existing gambling market and legalizing the present illegal market by introducing stringent and dead set regulations for future. Gambling being a state subject, only states can be entitled to formulate laws for gambling or betting activities.
Physical and online betting
Banning any activity makes it more tempting for people to indulge in it. With the technological revolution the traditional physical gambling activities are replaced by online gambling portals. Although online betting is technically not illegal in India, there is no law which prohibits it; for major reasons being, firstly the law prohibiting physical gambling was passed erstwhile and secondly, due to the issue of regulation of stringent checks which are required by online bookmakers and wallets.
The Information Technology Act, 2000 regulates cyber activities in India and prohibits publication or transmission of information which can corrupt people. This includes online gambling and the punishment for such activities is much more serious than that of offline gambling operations. However, if any Indian resident decides to place bets on websites hosted outside India, it would be difficult to hold him guilty under online gambling if the laws of the country where the website is hosted, permits online gambling, due to this we need to enact specific internet gambling laws which shall be blossoming to the government as well as persons engaged in these activities.
The need for a sharpened and exceptional law is required, because the Public Gambling Act, is veteran and muddy on many areas, e.g. It makes casino gambling illegal specifically, and states that the Act is not applicable to skill wagering.
Ways of practicing gambling and betting
Leaving aside sports betting, more and more people are interested in gambling. Poker, Pool or Billiard, Shooting Baskets, Fantasy Football, Internet Games, and Slot Machine games are some of the highly gambled activities. With the intervention of the online space, the craze for gambling and casino games has increased manifold. In addition, the convenience of playing them anywhere, anytime has given better choices to the players.
While Lottery is a legal business in India, other activities like Sports betting, horse racing, matka gambling, casinos, poker, are specifically illegal in many parts of the country.
The key difference between gambling and betting is that betting includes predicting the outcome of a future event and placing a wage on the same, while gambling is an activity which is based upon chance or luck and has nothing to do with the skills of a person.
Legalization of gambling and betting would bring the entire field under one umbrella
By laying down appropriate guidelines and rules governing the business models (including online) for the gambling and betting units, the entire field shall come under the purview of respective state governments. With the drafting a broad law which ensures the prevention of sporting fraud in India, there will be some amount of certainty, although some amount of opposition from the various states may be faced as, this sector comes under the state governments, however under the Constitution even the center has powers to enact laws.
Source of revenue to the state
Legalizing betting and gambling is expected to reduce the prevalence of black money making its way into the economy, and promoting illegal activities. It is not only expected to bring significant revenue for the government, but at the same time it shall monitor and regulate various betting and gambling activities. In countries like UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. online betting is legalized and we consider similar example here with regard to betting, it would benefit our currency too.
The risk with people engaged is that certain individuals would prefer betting transactions through illegal black money channels, and could remain outside the regulating and monitoring mechanisms. The need for regulating betting has been made because unregulated betting is an immense loss to the state and also because its regulation would enable the government to distinguish between harmless betting and corrupt activities.
If this field is not regularized it becomes complicated for the courts to determine whether the owners of gaming houses can collect stakes or derives profits from the players and whether there was any restriction in allowing participants to play games of skill for stakes with the intention of making profits.
Licensing & Employment generation
The gambling industry comes under the leisure section of the travel and transportation industry. It includes sports betting, lottery, bingo, casino, poker and other games that might end up gaining or losing money for those who invest in it, in order to widen the ambit of betting, stakes can also be placed on activities like movies, the elections, TV shows, etc. Proper License to practice the same can be obtained by the people who are engaged in these activities determining a wider scope for employment generation too.
End of money laundering, corruptions
One of the biggest obstacles faced by sports bettors in India is depositing the amount to foreign bookies which is extremely difficult and risky. On a lower note, majority of the users deposit their amount with online bookies using web portals which do not have Indian origin, leading to failure of online bank transfers. In order to circumvent these blocks, savvy internet users need to be guided. By involvement of the banking field, their assistance and involvement shall be fruitful in smooth functioning of these activities.
The direct affirmative effects of betting and gambling shall consist of creating a platform for all the board transactions under this field, online or otherwise, where the casual sports bettors have an opportunity to bet on sports and ensuring that individual freedom which is the basic right is protected. Concluding that gambling is not a bad thing if you do it within the framework of what it's meant to be, which is fun, entertaining and rewarding.