The online casino industry has seen a tremendous amount of change and growth over the past few years.
One of the biggest changes to the industry was the legalization and acceptance thereof in many countries.
India is among the most recent reported to consider changing their laws and legislation to legalize online gambling.
A promising start
According to sources the Law Commission of India has submitted a recommendation late last week to legalize gambling and betting in India.
As was expected the Law Commission stated that the ban on gambling hasn’t been so successful thanks to the rise of illegal gambling. And in an attempt to regain control, India like many other countries before them has opted for a chance at regaining control and regulating the market by legalizing it.
Another reason for the change of heart regarding online gambling is the fact that it would generated a significant revenue for the country. While revenue increases the regulation of gambling could also help put less stress on citizens who now gamble facing fear of action from law enforcement.
A bit of history
Gambling has never been accepted within India’s borders in fact it’s been frowned upon since colonial times. Considering the Public Gambling Act of 1867 was put in place back in the day to prevent players from taking part in gambling activities. The law was so strict that players faces 3 months of imprisonment if they got caught.
There are three states in India that allow casinos namely Goa, Daman and Sikkim. However the with online gambling stealing the show it’s time to focus on taking a problem and turning it into an opportunity. At the moment the Information Technology Act 2000 bans all activities that are seen as corruptive towards the people. With this act players face penalties of 5 years imprisonment or a fine of 100,000 rupees.
Suggestions for the prospective new law
The Law Commission of India added several suggestions on how to legalize gambling while managing to prevent problem gambling by citizens. There are some additions on how to stop illegal gambling activities as well.
One of the biggest suggestions was to link all gambling transactions made by players to their Aadhaar or PAN card (Identification card). This will not only help regulate how much players are making but it would also help prevent money laundering and fraud. It will also help the government prevent citizens from using social welfare funds to feed their gambling activities.
With gambling being linked to citizen ID’s the government would have full control over the market and be able to jump in whenever players are displaying problematic behaviour. In other words the government will actually be able to do something to prevent players from developing gambling addictions or play their way into poverty.
One of the more interesting suggestions was to create two gambling groups called Small Gambling and Proper Gambling. The latter would be for players with higher income where the Small Gambling category would be a low stakes gambling opportunity for those with little income.
While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the thought of gambling being legalized in India, Dr. S. Sivakumar believes that the economic status would not support the legalization of online gambling within the country. According Dr. Sivakumar lifting the 150+ year ban would only ensure that players are driven to poverty even more.
With the majority being in favour of finally legalizing online gambling within India it will be interesting to see which way they decide to go.