Should betting and gambling be legalized?Introduction:
Nagaland has become the first state to pass legislation on online skill games in the country. The law allows online games that facilitates online betting like rummy and other virtual sports. Earlier it was Sikkim that passed the law and now it is Nagaland to recognize that betting and gambling online could not be banned even though they do include money on chances instead of skills.
That’s what gambling and betting is all about – less skill involved and more chance. Crores of Rupees were recently lost and won when India was defeated by West Indies in World Cup T20. With IPL on its way to start, gambling and betting will soar heights even if we illegalize them in every other sport that calls for it. Casinos, horse racing, poker, rummy, etc. are free from these laws.
While we look down upon betting as evil, there are states in US where it is legal to operate a betting scheme. Sports wagers are regulated by laws in other countries while we continue to completely criminalize it even though the industry flourished underground like never before.Yes:1. Government revenue:
If betting and gambling is legalized and officials stop raiding spots where these activities prevail under registered license, lot of money can actually flow into government’s pocket which can be utilized to make things better in a country faced with so many crisis that arise out of financial deficit. Since the government has not been able to stop billions from flowing in the gambling and betting industry, it might as well become a part of it and earn some much needed revenue.2. Bound by laws:
Legalizing betting would make it more regulated and bound by laws which will prevent illegal ways of transactions that lead to bankruptcy for some people. The bookies will also be bound by law to pay the money to people who took part in betting and there would be good prevention of fraudulence that happen when powerful people lose and refuse to pay the ones they owe money. People could actually register complaints if they notice corrupt practices during betting/gambling.3. Life threats:
The betting industry being illegal is now run from the underworld where laws and rules do not prevail. People lose their lives and sometimes everything they own. Legalizing them would only prevent people from going under these kind of threats for fulfilling their passion for betting and gambling. Furthermore, delinking underworld would prevent youth from being misled into theft and dishonest practices to invest and earn from the betting industry.4. Employing people:
Making betting and gambling legal would open up jobs for quite a lot of people who are otherwise dependent on bookers and middlemen of the industry. In UK alone, the betting industry created around 100,000 new jobs and made a financial impact of 9.3 billion dollars. For Indian people, other forms of betting, especially in sports like cricket have always been of interest. The betting industry would flourish well especially since IPL and T20 matches are always being played round the year. Many prominent sportspersons have also spoken about the advantages of legalizing betting and gambling in sports.5. Nothing bad:
There is nothing wrong in making guesses. It is like buying lottery tickets, you want to check if your luck promises you something without much efforts. What makes it bad is the way some people get so engrossed in it that they forget their financial limits and gamble for everything they have, leaving them either bankrupt or millionaire overnight. But then it is their money to do with as they deem fit. A person can donate all that he’s earned and so can he risk it all for a better fortune knowing well that he can lose it all.No:1. Corrupting sports:
Cricket is a religion in India. It is not only those who gamble their money on the sport that are anxious about the performance of players but a whole lot of other people enjoy the sports with much enthusiasm without anything to win or lose. If betting is legalized, more practices of luring players and fixing them up would happen which will in turn affect the integrity of sports to a great extent. There are cricket fans who would be utterly disheartened and some might even turn off from the sports forever.2. Easy money:
Betting and gambling are all ways to generate easy money and there is no such thing as easy money that doesn’t risk losing your precious little savings that might mean more to you than the ones you will earn by chance. Investing all your hard earned money to a lottery is insane. Sports are unpredictable even if you are an expert in the game, it doesn’t make you the god who can sit at comfort and decide who would win.3. Addiction:
When elders say that betting and gambling are addiction, they are not being orthodox or talking taboo. Yes, it all dates back to the epical age of Mahabharata where there is open witness to the evil effects of gambling. It has been found that people who get involved in betting once are bound to do it again and again. There is that risking nature of the sport and the adrenaline rush that comes with it that makes the whole thing very addictive. There is that chance of winning big. People see others make fortune out of it and are tempted to try their luck even when their financial status might not permit doing so.4. Suicidal and other unethical behaviors:
When people lose their money in betting it is mostly like gone with a wink. It can and does make people lose their minds. They would have invested their family savings, home and jewelries in the game and lost them all. They suicide, or turn drunk and drug addicts, become violent when questioned by family and in some cases even become criminals of the highest orders.Conclusion:
Legalizing betting and gambling in India will be a gamble in itself with 50-50 chances of either of its effects to become dominant. On one side there is the fact that legalizing will delink the underworld and prevent people from falling into traps and risking their lives and on the other side there will be risks of middle and lower class risking all their belonging to earn better fortune.
It would be too early to predict if legalizing betting and gambling in India would do more good than harm. In the meanwhile, more regulations could be formulated and implemented to prevent cricket and other sports from being impacted badly by these illegal practices.