Gambling and other types of betting are common all over the world. The people of India love to bet, and they will put their hard-earned money on anything ranging from animal fights in the street to cricket matches to card games. Despite their love of gambling, it is mostly illegal to gamble throughout India.
There is an exception in the states of Goa and Sikkim, while betting on horse racing is allowed throughout the country. There have been plenty of calls recently to legalize all gambling in India, and below we are going to look at the reasons why this should be the case.
Decrease Black Market Gambling
Despite the fact that gambling is mostly illegal in India, it is still happening thanks to black market gambling. There are no land-based bookmakers in India, but anyone who wants to place a sports bet or play casino games that does not have access to the Internet can easily do so by getting in contact with illegal gambling syndicates. Those who have access to the Internet can gamble at online gambling sites and there are many an online casino in India that Indians can open an account with nowadays.
Black market gambling is dangerous as the money that the syndicates earn can be used for nefarious activities such as financing terrorism. Also, those who gamble with such syndicates are not protected in any shape or form. There really is nothing stopping the syndicate from not paying out should someone place a large bet and win a tidy profit. By legalizing gambling and building legal bookies and casinos throughout the country, the Indian government will be able to decrease the number of black-market betting syndicates which, in turn, will lead to a decrease in funds for crime organizations.
Estimates regarding the size of India’s gambling market vary. For example, a recent KPMG report states that it could be worth anywhere in the region of $50-60 billion, while other studies declare that it is even more than this. Whatever the true figure is, there is one thing that is for certain and that is that the Indian gambling market is growing at an exponential rate and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon, especially in the digital world. Therefore, it is clear that the Indian government are missing out of a lot of tax revenue every year.
By legalizing gambling in a restrictive way, the Indian government could rake in millions of extra money each year. In fact, it has been estimated that India loses $140 million each year due to unregulated gambling. All of this extra money could be used to fund the healthcare system and provide better infrastructure across the country.
Higher Employment Levels
Apart from generating more money, legalizing gambling will create more job opportunities for the people of India. Across the world, wherever gambling has been regulated, there has been a big decrease in the percentage of people who are unemployed.
By legalizing gambling, land-based casinos and bookies will be able to be built across the country and these will provide employment for thousands of Indians. There is a lot of poverty in India and anything that will decrease the poverty levels, even if it is just by a few percent, should definitely be considered. The Indian economy, like the economies of countries all over the world, has suffered due to the current pandemic and the boom that would arise from the construction of land-based casinos and bookies would definitely help India’s recovery.
Decrease the Levels of Match Fixing
Indians, as you probably already know, absolutely love their cricket. They love to play it in the streets, they love to watch it, and they love to place bets on it. To give you an idea as to how much they love to bet on cricket, it is estimated that $50-60 million is bet by Indians on every Indian Premier League match.
Now, since sports betting is illegal and there are no legal bookmakers, that huge amount of money is being spent either at online bookies or with illegal betting syndicates. It is with the latter where the issues start to arise with regards to match fixing.
Let us imagine a scenario where a lot of money has been bet on a particular team to win and the illegal betting syndicates stand to lose an awful lot of money should that team go ahead and win. There is nothing stopping them from getting in contact with a couple of players from that team and offering them a lump sum of money to ensure that their team does not win the game.
Likewise, maybe plenty of money has been placed on a certain number of runs to be off the overs of a particular bowler or for a player to score a half-century. There is nothing stopping the illegal betting syndicates from getting in touch with the relevant players and seeing if they would be willing to accept money to not score a half-century or to purposely give away runs with bad bowling.
Thankfully, the majority of cricketers are not corrupt and will not jeopardize their careers for a bit of extra money. However, it does happen, and we feel that the chances of it happening would decrease drastically if the Indian government were to legalize gambling. If gambling is legalized, land-based sports betting establishments can be built, the need for black market syndicates would decrease and there would be fewer criminals out there trying to bribe sportsmen into cheating.