In what might be seen as a positive move for the Indian Gaming industry, the Law Commission of India has recommended that gambling and betting on sports including cricket should be legalised and regulated while stronger laws be introduced to curb match fixing and incidents of cheating. The panel says that betting and gambling should be made taxable under the direct and indirect tax regimes and used as a source for attracting foreign direct investment or FDI.
“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 said.
Prior to this in January, the commission’s chairman Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan shared a similar view in an interview with the Hindustan Times, “Online betting is difficult to prevent, so it requires regulation. We must have a stringent law.” The Law commission also cited the report that was submitted by All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) for their review and perusal.
The Law Commission Chairman, Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan was also the Chief Guest of the recently concluded India Gaming Conclave 2018 organized by AIGF in their efort to get relevant gaming stakeholder & international regulators and the authorities together.
In this latest development, the commission has also recommended linking Aadhaar or PAN cards 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 foreign exchange and India’s FDI policy to allow investments in the casino and online gaming industry.