Regulation Doesn’t Make Gambling Spring into Existence, only Makes it Safer

Young Bites. Dated: 6/25/2022 1:25:06 PM

Meghalaya’s Liberalization of Gaming Met with Apocalyptic Alerts

Gambling Laws
Within less than a year, Meghalaya shifted from an almost total prohibition to India's most liberal legislation over gaming, gambling, and sports betting in an attempt to boost tourism and help the state's economy. The move towards gaming regulation, however, was not well appreciated by everyone, as some organizations voiced their concerns painting an apocalyptic picture of what lies ahead.The Meghalaya United Christian Forum (MUCF) allerted that the state's decision to regulate offline and online betting, games of skill and games of chance will bring doom to the lives of the vulnerable young men and women of all beliefs and communities living in the state and will have far-reaching consequences for their families."Online gambling and casinos might generate a lot of revenue for the government but the bigger question is whether people are willing to pay the price and are they ready to bear the repercussions of such an endeavor on the society at large," stated MUCF Secretary Synsharlang Kharshiing.

"The leaders and the government functionaries of the state should deeply introspect before jumping head on with excitement without considering the destruction it may cause to the present and future generations," he added.

The Existence of Gambling and Betting Does Not Depend on Regulations or Bans

Mr. Kharshiing's statement that gaming regulation may bring "destruction" to whole generations of citizens sounds weird as it implies that cricket satta and other forms of gambling didn't exist before they were legalized, and it is the state's new laws that created them.

Widely available data shows that this is as far away from the truth as possible. Moreover, as observed in a recent study on global gambling regulations and licensing regimes by Esse N Videri, jurisdictions lacking regulation over the sector are "more vulnerable to illegal operations, both within and offshore."

The report points out that, "this is the case of Brazil, India, and large parts of South-East Asia, for example." India, in particular, marks the highest increase of 35 percent in the number of games played each month by the average user during the peak 2020 month of the Covid-19 pandemic compared to 2019 average monthly data.

Russia follows with a 30 percent gaming spike, Indonesia is third, registering a 26 percent increase, and Brazil is in fourth position with 23 percent. South Korea and France are last with 5 and 3 percent respectively.

India, on the other hand, is ranked in the last 20th position in a 2021 assessment of major gaming jurisdictions around the world by the Brussels-based European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), scoring only 9 out of 100 possible points. The UK receives the highest mark of 91 points, followed by Malta with 88 points, while Argentina in the 18th position comes up with 61 points, way above India's result.

The EGBA ranking is based on scores along five criteria including ‘Regulation and Licensing' - measuring the strength and the user protection provided by legislation among other things, ‘Taxation', ‘Product', ‘Integrity' - involving a score on legal requirements to report suspicious betting activities and international cooperation, and ‘Advertising'.

India's low score of 9 points signals a Zero percent channeling of betting activities and turnovers to legitimate channels. "Whilst betting is widespread across India it is mainly prohibited and therefore unlicensed and unregulated. Player protection and market oversight is therefore absent, as are fiscal returns. The unregulated market and related criminality will continue to flourish," the EGBA assessment of the Indian market concludes, as quoted in the Esse N Videri report.

Regulation is the Way to a Safer Gaming Environment

Contrary to MUCF Secretary Kharshiing's misguided alert, it is regulation and licensing over gaming and betting that can effectively lower the "destruction" of families and young lives in India, and in the state of Meghalaya in particular.

Besides bringing tax and license fee revenues to the exchequer and creating numerous job opportunities, directly and in related industries such as the tourism and food catering sectors, gaming regulation lowers criminal activity. Such legalisation moves financial flows away from criminal hands and enhances anti-money laundering mechanisms. Sports integrity is also raised, as better betting traceability leads to easier curbing of match-fixing practices.

Most importantly, gambling and betting regulation introduces mandatory customer protection and responsible gaming mechanisms, including a variety of measures that limit any societal "damage" from gambling.

Responsible gaming mechanisms typically include spending limits, barriers to gamling on credit, restrictions on advertising, bonuses and loyalty programs, self-exclusion systems, AI-based behavior monitoring tools, requirements for providing easy access to professional mental health support, and many more.


Face to Face

Face To Face With Atul Kumar Goel (IPS) DIG, Jammu-Samba-Kathua Range J&K... Read More





Daily horoscope