Written Statement of John T. Holden J.D./LL.B./Ph.D: For the Law Commission of India on Legalizing of Betting and Gambling
4 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 28, 2017
This written statement addresses several of the questions raised regarding the potential legalization of betting and gambling in India. Of the five questions posed in the Appeal, dated May 30, 2017, I address only the first two: 1) “Will legalizing betting and gambling help in curbing the illegal activities undertaken by the citizens of our country in this regard?”; and 2) “Will licensing such activities help the Government earn substantial revenue and generate employment?”
The rise of accessibility to the internet has created a truly global network of betting opportunities. Restrictions on access to online gambling sites often present little in the way of deterrence for those who are truly committed to finding an opportunity to wager. Indeed, countries like India and the United States, which have strict prohibitions on betting and gambling, have seen vast amounts of revenue being sent to untaxable and unregulated black or grey markets. The inability to monitor and control access to betting markets raises additional public health concerns regarding addiction and underage access, which could be limited in a regulated environment. In answer to the question posed by the commission, I suggest that a cost-benefit analysis of total societal benefit weighs substantially in favor of a highly-regulated betting and gambling environment in place of the current void, which drives gamblers to illegal operators.
Keywords: Sports betting, gambling, gaming, India, Match-fixing, corruption
JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K20, K23, K29, K30, K39, K40, K49, L50, L59, L80, L83, L89
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation