Expressing apprehensions over possible consequences of legalising betting and gambling in India, Law Commission Chairman Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan today said those living below poverty line are vulnerable to such games.
The Law Commission is examining the issue of legalising betting in cricket. Industry body FICCI report released in February estimated betting market in India to the tune of Rs 3 trillion and stated that if it is taxed at a rate of 20 per cent, the Indian government could earn revenue of Rs 120 billion.
Essel Group Chairman Amit Goenka said that in some states lotteries and gambling is permitted but a complete framework is required to protect players in the game.
"Government should legalise betting and gambling and put measure in it to curb money laundering, illegal and terror funding through betting and eradicate corruption is another issue which is big agenda of current government. According to me betting market in India is more than the size of Rs 3 trillion as estimated by FICCI," Goenka said.
Speaking in favour of legalising and regulating betting, Member of Parliament and senior advocate of Supreme Court KTS Tulsi said it will provide direct employment to 5.7 lakh people and indirect employment to 1.7 billion people, besides Govt can earn huge revenue by legalising the sector.
Senior lawyer Parag Tripathi said if government doesn't legalise betting and gambling it will continue as illegal means and the government will lose revenue, continue to face problem of funding for illegal activities, black money etc.
He called for political hierarchy to unite on the issue to legalise it.
"Human conduct includes desire to be entertained. Desire to be entertained gaming, whether games of skills or chance, is not unacceptable to most countries of the world. There is no reason today why betting on games of chance should be leigitimise completely," Senior Advocate at Supreme Court Sidharth Luthra said.
Delhi High Court judge Justice Siddharth Mridul, while recognising challenges related to making betting and gambling legal, said that man by instinct is a gamer or a gambler and to completely turn blind eye to what human beings have restrictively done since ages may not be an ideal approach.