The Law Commission of India’s endeavour to study the issue of whether or not gambling and betting should be legalised in the country is therefore a timely initiative to start the process of a much-needed reform.

Pros of Legalizing Gambling:

(i) Gambling has been prevalent in society since ancient times and has been accepted as a form of recreation on various social occasions.

(ii) Revenue to the government:

Government could earn tens of thousands of crores as tax revenue by legalising sports betting. Additionally, if online gambling and casinos are also permitted, the estimated tax revenue would be much higher.

(iii) Gambling is already happening in a massive way and is largely controlled by underworld syndicates.

Legalising the activity will not only help curtail an important source of black money that is used by criminal syndicates, but also bring massive revenue to the state exchequer, which can be used for various constructive social schemes.

(iv) International examples:

  • In addition to revenue generation, a legal and regulated gambling sector will also help in creating large-scale employment opportunities.
  • Globally, wherever gambling is regulated, it has created a massive avenue for employment generation.
  • For instance, the regulated gambling industry in the U.S. employs over 2.5 lakh people, while over 1 lakh individuals are employed in this sector in the U.K.

(v) It will ensure that people do not fall prey to the excesses of gambling as awareness campaigns will be educated about the perils of excessive gambling.

Cons of Legalizing Gambling :

Some experts argue that gambling is not morally correct in the Indian context.

Gambling is responsible for addiction, loss of livelihoods and bankruptcy.

Suggestions :

India can allow responsible gambling, where the government should provide “proper controls and protections” for those who may be damaged by gambling.

Minors, habitual gamblers and vulnerable sections should be excluded from having access to gaming facilities.

Gambling is not an activity which needs to be looked down upon by the people. The people involved can easily contribute to the economy without harming their own self and their families if they understand their limits.

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