Legalising betting in sports worse idea: Congress

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New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Dubbing betting in sports a worse idea, the Congress on Friday said the Law Commission’s recommendation for such a step will turn every shop selling betel leaves into a gambling den.

“Gambling is a bad idea; gambling in sports is a worse idea. And between a bad and a worse idea, I don’t think any choice can be made,” Congress Spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.

“If you legalise betting in sports, you will not only spoil the sports but also turn every ‘paan ki dukaan’ into a ‘juye ka adda’. Does the Modi government want to turn every paan shop in the country into a den for gambling?” he asked.

Tewari’s comments a day after the Law Commission in its report recommended that betting in sports, including cricket, should be legalised.

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The Commission also recommended that Parliament may also enact a model law for regulating gambling that may be adopted by the states or in the alternative, Parliament may legislate in exercise of its powers under Articles 249 or 252 of the Constitution.

The panel said that gambling/betting be made taxable and could be used to attract foreign direct investment.

“If betting were such a kosher and exalted social activity which could qualify as a virtue, then a substantive number of Indian states would not have banned it,” Tewari, a former Union Minister said.

He said that the fact is that betting, whether it is through lottery or other means, had had certain very very negative impacts on Indian society.

“It has impoverished families, it has ruined them, and brought about destitution. There is enough empirical evidence which bears out this reality. We believe that betting will subvert Indian sports, it will create more problems of the kind that we have seen with regard to match-fixing etc,” the Congress leader said.

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–IANS

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