Social impact of legalising gambling is enormous: Congress
“If you legalise betting on sports, not only will you destroy sports, but turn every ‘paan (betel leaf) shop’ of this country into a gambling den,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.Updated: Jul 07, 2018 00:07 IST
The Congress on Friday said the social implications of legalising betting on sports were “enormous” and asked the government if it wanted to convert every ‘paan shop’ in the country into a ‘gambling den’ with the move.
“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. If you legalise betting on sports, not only will you destroy sports, but turn every ‘paan (betel leaf) shop’ of this country into a gambling den,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
He also said that the issue of legalising gambling was being brought up by the government at a time when the economy was struggling.
“The reason why most of the Indian states do not have lottery or the fact that lottery is banned, is because of the extremely negative social implications of gambling,” Tewari added.
The Law Commission had on Thursday recommended that gambling and betting on sports, including cricket, be allowed as regulated activities taxable under direct and indirect tax regimes and used as a source for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI).
“It is high time the central government realises the consequences of their mal-governance and mal-administration,” Tewari said.
“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,” he said.
Tewari claimed betting, be it through the lottery or other means, has had a very negative impact.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) however, dismissed the Congress’ contention, saying the issue has nothing to do with the party or the government.
“The Law Commission has recommended it,” a BJP leader said.