Law Commission: Pitching for stronger laws to curb match-fixing and incidents of cheating

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The Law Commission says gambling and betting should be made taxable under the direct and indirect tax regimes and could be used to attract foreign direct investment or FDI.
The Law Commission says gambling and betting should be made taxable under the direct and indirect tax regimes and could be used to attract foreign direct investment or FDI.

Gambling and betting on sports including cricket should be legalised, the Law Commission told the centre on Thursday, pitching for stronger laws to curb match-fixing and incidents of cheating. Conceding that a complete ban on activities like betting is not working, the panel has called for overturning India’s historically stringent laws that heavily restrict such activities with narrow exceptions. The Law Commission says gambling and betting should be made taxable under the direct and indirect tax regimes and could be used to attract foreign direct investment or FDI.

Here are the top 5 points in this story:

  1. Parliament can enact a model law to allow highly-regulated versions of gambling that could be adopted by the state government, the commission led by former Supreme Court judge BS Chauhan said.
  2. The commission has also recommended making the transaction cashless to regulate illegal activities such as money laundering. It also suggested linking Aadhaar or PAN cards of an individual indulging in betting and gambling.
  3. “For participants, there must be a cap on the number of transactions an individual can indulge in these activities in a specific period, i.e., monthly, half-yearly or yearly,” it said.
  4. The panel said that those who are underage, receive government subsidies or do not fall within the purview of the Income Tax Act or the GST Act should be debarred from participating in gambling platforms.
  5. 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.

How Does the Law Commission Conduct Its Reforms?

When deciding upon which projects to prioritise and work on, the Law Commission considers the following criteria:

  •  The importance of the change
    This involves an assessment of the problems with the current legislation and the impact that these problems have, as well as what the likely benefits to be gained from reform will be.
  •  The resources that are available
    All new projects are carefully weighed up to ensure that adequate funding is available to undertake reform. An important factor in this regard is the availability and knowledge of appropriate Commissioners to research and implement the suggestions.
  •  Whether or not the Law Commission is the most suitable body to perform the work
    An important feature of the work of the Law Commission is public consultation. Essentially, this means that all projects that are considered or taken on which relate to a review or reform of the law go through a thorough and detailed public consultation. There are a number of principles set out by the Cabinet Office that must be followed in relation to these public consultations; these can be viewed online.

How Does the Law Commission Review and Analyse the Results of Its Work?

It is crucial that any reforms that are undertaken are thoroughly assessed post-implementation in order to ensure that they provide maximum effectiveness and benefit to the public. Formal impact assessments are required and are often carried out continually through the reform process. One of the most useful ways of assessing impact is through talking to individuals or companies that benefit in some way from the change in the law, be it financially or through efficiency or convenience, and asking them to pinpoint the positive results that they have experienced following the reform.

 

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