Law Commission recommends betting as regulated, taxable activity

The Law Commission has recommended that gambling and betting on sports, including cricket to be allowed as regulated activities taxable under the direct and indirect tax regimes, and used as a source for attracting FDI, The Economic Times reports.

The commission’s report, titled “Legal Framework: Gambling and Sports Betting including Cricket in India” recommends changes to the law which would allow betting in the country and the generation of tax from the activity.

The commission has also recommended linking a PAN Card, a permanent account number allotted to each taxpayer, and making transactions cashless to keep a lid on illegal activities such as money laundering.

The commission has recommended amending laws regulating forex and India’s FDI policy to allow investments in the casino and online gaming industry.

“The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 and the Rules…made thereunder as also the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy…may suitably be amended to encourage Foreign Direct Investment in the casino/online gaming industry, lawfully permitting technological collaborations, licensing and brand sharing agreements, etc,” it said.

The Law Commission said allowing foreign investment in the industry would “bring substantial amounts of investment to those states that decide to permit casinos, propelling the growth of the tourism and hospitality industries, while also enabling such states to generate higher revenue and employment opportunities.”