5 major reasons why betting is illegal in India

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Betting and gambling-related activities have been the center of debate in the gaming community for a long time. While some people oppose it, some think it’s better to regulate it. Currently, all betting and gambling-related activities are governed by The Public Gambling Act of 1867.

According to the act, any activity that involves betting money or any other equivalent is deemed illegal. The only exemption to the aforementioned regulation that is permitted in India is games that require a skill.

Horse racing is excluded, but only under particular circumstances. These requirements include that the wagering must occur on a particular day that the horse has raced and in an enclosure that has been authorized by the State Governments and the requirement of a license to operate.

Apart from the Public Gambling Act, different states have different views on betting. Some states allow games of skills, while others argue that they should also be banned with games of chance. Games of skill are currently allowed by the Supreme Court under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.

Apart from the current law governing betting and gambling, there are several other reasons why betting is illegal in India; these include –

1. Morality

While many people enjoy betting on various activities, it is deemed morally wrong by most people in India. Because some people view betting as unethical, morality or ethics have been at the center of debates.

Due largely to religious convictions and the shame associated with making money almost instantly and not requiring any kind of hard work. Most of the time, people lose money in betting, which adds to betting being viewed as an unethical activity.

Betting was illegal and considered a mistake long before any kind of laws were introduced. It may not always be a monetary bet but have the same meaning, which further influences the views of people on betting or any similar related activities.

2. Highly addictive and financially harmful

Gambling itself has proven to be one of the highly addictive activities. It is categorized as an impulsivity disorder and can have many detrimental psychological, bodily, and societal effects.

Several reports on people losing money on online betting can be found throughout the years. Many of them play in hopes of winning big rewards but fail to realize that millions of others are aiming for that same thing.

What starts as people spending a little money on different bets piles up to thousands or lakhs without people realizing it. By the time people realize nothing can be done about the money lost. Watching this many people losing money on betting, it was evident that betting needs to be made illegal and not allowed in any state.

3. Increases overall crime rate

People who lose money on betting but are still addicted to it usually turn towards theft, be it from someone else or from their own homes. People even borrow money from loan sharks to try and win back the money lost.

If betting is legalized, there is a risk of people using it as a way to launder money earned from various dishonest activities.

In extreme cases, people have gone as far as to take their own lives after losing all the money on betting. Many reports of youth committing suicide from across the country are being tossed around.

4. Treated as games of chance

Another song for betting being illegal for most of the activities in India is the debate between games of skill and games of chance. Gaming in India is divided into these two categories. While games of skill are considered legitimate games, games of chance are not allowed and are considered a type of gambling.

‘Game of skill’ consist of games that require knowledge about the game user is playing. Without the proper knowledge of the mechanics of the game, it is nearly impossible to win the game. Prime examples are card games like Poker and Rummy.

While ‘Games of chance’ are based purely on the luck of the person playing. These games do not require any kind of prior knowledge, and anyone can play them by simply putting in money and hoping for the best. Examples are games like betting on various sports events, Electronic games, such as online slots and online video game matches.

5. Disrupts sport integrity

While betting itself have only two chances, either people win or lose, it can develop into a bigger problem when mixed with sports and online gaming.

Everyone wants to place and win a bet, so it goes as far as trying match-fixing for a desired result. Some gamblers do interact with the participants and officials in an effort to win the bet. To make a wager that is safe, they either try to persuade the player to perform poorly or elicit information from the officials.

With betting and match-fixing combined, people can easily lose trust in the sport and the game, or the sport risks losing fans who are an integral part of the community. Moreover, the player playing the game can have mental repercussions.