Cigarette smoking is injurious to health but still is allowed the world over with a ‘warning’ on the packets. It is left to the people to decide if satisfaction by smoking is more important than their health. Similarly, gambling in casinos and betting on sports is legal in many countries and it is high time, it should be legalized in India as well. As we known, during matches it is being done illegally. If betting is legal on horse races, then why the discrimination is with other sports.
However, some constraints need to be in order so that sports itself doesn’t become an arena for match-fixing or illegality for bookmakers to mint money. Make laws and punishment on frauds on sports arena stringent so that match results are not influenced by the betting racket. Taxes on income from gambling should be high, so that it acts as a deterrent for the poor to indulge in this elite lifestyle. Age limit could be prescribed by the government to prevent youngsters from gambling.
The revenue collected by way of taxes on gambling should be earmarked for development of sports that are neglected so that sports as a whole benefits which than neutralizes some of the social issues people may have against gambling.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)