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Ravi Shankar Prasad says Law Commission report on betting under consideration, tables statement in RS

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Reply to question on banning online betting websites

Exclusive Union Minister for Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad, in a statement tabled in the Rajya Sabha has stated that the 276th Law Commission report on betting and gambling is ‘under consideration of the Government.’

The minister also referred to the clarificatory press note issued by the Law Commission stating that it had strongly and categorically recommended that legalising gambling and betting is not recommended in the present scenario.

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Prasad’s statement also ennumerates various safeguards suggested by the law panel in case the state or central government’s decide to regulate these activities (full text of the Law Minister’s statement reproduced at the end of this article).

The Union Law Minister issued the statement in response to a starred question from AIADMK MP Vijila Sathyananth who asked whether the Law Commission has recommended regulation of gambling as the only viable option. She also sought to know if the commission had recommended cap on the number of bets that can be placed and other safeguards.

Prasad laid a similar statement on another question on the Law Commission’s recommendations that was raised by Kerala Congress (M) member Jose K. Mani.

Since an unscheduled parliamentary holiday was declared on 27th July and on account of disruptions in the upper house of parliament thereafter, a discussion on supplementary questions to the starred question could not take place.

Law Commission report on regulation of gambling in sports
112 . Smt. Vijila Sathyananth
(a) whether it is a fact that the Law Commission has submitted a report to the Government proposing that since it is impossible to stop illegal gambling, the only viable option left is to regulate gambling in sports;(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether it is also a fact that the Panel wants the Government to introduce a cap on the number of gambling transactions for each individual; and

(d) if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
ANSWER

MINISTER OF LAW & JUSTICE AND ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(SHRI RAVI SHANKER PRASAD)

(a) to (d) A statement is laid on the Table of the House.

STATEMENT REFFERED TO IN RESPECT OF RAJYA SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. *112 DATED 27TH JULY , 2018

(a) & (b) The Law Commission of India submitted its 276th report titled “Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including in Cricket in India” to Government on 05.07.2018. In 276th report and press note for clarification uploaded on Law Commission of India’s official website the Commission clarifies that vide para 9.7 of the report on page 115, it has been strongly and categorically recommended that legalising betting and gambling in india in the present scenario is not desirable , and that a complete ban on unlawful betting and gambling must be ensured. Again vide para 9.8, it has been recommended that effective regulation remains the only viable option to control gambling, if it is not possible to enforce a complete ban in order to prevent unlawful activities and the commission has recommended a number of guidelines and safeguards, in the event Parliament or the State Legislatures decide to regulates to these activities.

(c) and (d) Law Commission of India recommended/suggested on page no.116 in para 5 of the Chapter IX that Gambling and betting, if any should be offered only by Indian licensed operators from India possessing valid licences granted by the game licensing authority. 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. The nature of stakes should be restricted to money with a linkage of PAN card and Aadhaar card, and the betting amount should be prescribed by law having an upper limit on the amount one can legally stake in gamble, which may be on the basis of the deposit, winnings or losses. The said report is under consideration of the Government.

Jay has researched extensively on gaming laws and has been cited by various media houses and journals as an expert. He has helped leading newspapers in their stories on gaming laws. Jay completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from NUJS, Kolkata in 2015 and is currently based out of Mumbai.